Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. Always has been, and I suspect it always will be. For me, it is the holiday that best embodies love, family, friendship, and laughter. I can’t think of one Thanksgiving I didn’t laugh. I can’t think of one I didn’t enjoy. It’s a pure holiday – no trappings, no presents, no expectations. Just a big ol’ bird, some mashed potatoes, and a whole lot of love.
As a Baha’i, I feel like this holiday takes on extra importance for me in relation to my family. This is one holiday we can fully “share” because it is about being simply thankful no matter who or why you worship. Despite our differences in beliefs, we are all grateful for something and willing to share that feeling with each other and with God.
So what am I thankful for this year? A husband who adores me and adores his daughter completely and unconditionally, who is patiently learning sign language and this new language of Down syndrome, who makes a mean gluten-free pizza crust. A daughter who absolutely lights up my soul, lifts my spirits, and challenges me in ways I could never expect but am ultimately grateful for. A house I am proud of that gives shelter to my family and a testament to the hard work we have accomplished together. Family who has rallied behind us without us even asking and who has loved our daughter fiercely. Friends who have also drawn together to lift us up and remind us to smile on the days when this gets a little bit hard. A surgeon with amazing skill to patch our baby girl’s heart, and doctors who have cared for Rowenna like their own child, have taken worried phone calls, and reassured us we are doing the right things for our daughter.
I wish all of you a peaceful, cozy, blessed Thanksgiving and would like to end with a section of one of my favorite prayers of gratitude:
My God, my Adored One, my King, my Desire! What tongue can voice my thanks to Thee?