This is one of the posts recovered after a botched website move in 2013. It was originally written and published on November 19, 2012.
I have the most amazing family.It is the rare occasion these days when many of us can gather together. Thanksgiving is one of those days.When we come together, we come in multitudes. At Thanksgiving there will be at least 40 of us for a sit-down dinner, and more will arrive for dessert.Gatherings such as this are loud, funny, and messy; replete with hugs, kisses, and "remember whens"... It's a sight to behold and it's a time be treasured.We often joke that potential initiates (boyfriends and girlfriends) will fit right in if they can make it through their first experience with us.I relish these gatherings. I revel in them.No matter how many months may have passed in between, we are woven together seemingly without effort, creating the equivalent of a time-worn, well-used, sturdy braided rug, the circumference of which is forged of love and dreams and memories; loss, too.I have the most amazing family.When we come together on Thanksgiving, we sit down at the numerous tables crammed with place settings and bowls and plates loaded with food, we join hands, we say a prayer, and we say "thank you."We eat and drink and laugh and sometimes shed a tear.When it's all over, and the tryptophan-induced nappers are refreshed and refilled with myriad desserts, the goodbyes are heartfelt and the promises of "'til next time" resound.How do you gather in gratitude?