This weekend is Thanksgiving for me and my fellow Canadians. I have enjoyed many family celebrations and each year that we are able to get together for a family gathering, we are all thankful for those moments and for the people in our lives. This year I was given a truly different perspective on what it means to be genuinely thankful.
Each October the family I work for invites their extended family to the lodge for Thanksgiving. And each year, one of the older couples ventures North for the holiday with their foster children. This year there are five of them. Over the last fifteen years, a myriad of young faces have come and gone through the lodge but the expression on each of those faces, I’m sure, is the same. It is the look of hope. The joy and sense of togetherness they feel, on this weekend in particular, hopefully renews their faith in family.
There have been so many stories told of what these poor children have endured throughout their young lives. These foster children are survivors of terrible atrocities that no human, much less a child, should ever have to experience. With the love of their foster parents, these children are given a chance to, not only succeed but, be part of a family tradition that they may never have experienced in their troubled past.
Selfishly throughout my life I have silently thanked God for the bounty we are about to receive, having never given any thought to what I really should be thankful for but my perspective has been altered. This Thanksgiving I am thankful for people like Marilyn and Fred – people who open their homes and their hearts to give a child a second chance for a life full of love and family.
This will be one of my most memorable Thanksgiving weekends and I look forward to seeing that same look of hope on some new faces next year.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.