When Thanksgiving is a Struggle

by - November 27, 2013

It's time to give thanks.

When I look back over the past year, I realize it has been a year of hardship.

Choosing a word for the year, like many bloggers do, has never felt right for me. But my 2013 now has a word.


It's not the kind of word you choose for yourself ahead of time.

Last Thanksgiving was the last time my nephew's wife was in our home. Noelle and Reagan spent Thanksgiving night Black Friday shopping with her. They never slept and made a great memory together, which turned out to be their last, because shortly thereafter, she left.

December brought the end of my aunt's 8 year battle with a deadly cancer.

I struggled to celebrate Christmas last year.

The new year was no better. A good friend died too young of a heart attack in January.

As winter gave way to spring, my job was downsized and so was my pay check. Financial pressure set in. We took our first cruise anyway because we had already paid for it.

Summer, the season ripe with life, brought death to our family again. My cousin's 17-year-old son met the Lord that sultry July night. And I have learned anew how to be as present in Tammy's life as possible from a distance.

Death came again in September when Mike's mom finally slipped through our fingers.

And here we are again: back at Thanksgiving.

No matter what, it always seems to come back to that: thanksgiving.

And despite this year of struggle, I am thankful.

I'm mostly thankful for lessons learned. These:

My measure of thanks is directly related to the measure of hardship. When the lessons are hard won through struggle, the gratitude is truer.

So happy Thanksgiving; or sad Thanksgiving, whichever the case may be for you.

Both can be true and are equally beautiful.

In community with #TellHisStory

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  1. i love that you gave us the option for the sad thanksgiving.
    hope you are surprised by a happy one after your tough

  2. Dear Dawn
    It certainly has been a difficult year for you and your loved ones. But I am so encouraged by your tenacity to keep on keeping on with your eyes fixed on the One who told us that He already overcame the world. I suffer from Fm/CFS and this year was especially difficult, but I know that it is in those times that our roots grow deep into the Life of our Lord Jesus.
    Blessings XX

  3. I love your hope. Thank you so much for sharing the lessons you've learned. I'm sure that they will be helpful to all of us.

    Kalonda www.holymatrimommy.com


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