I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is only a week away!  Lauren will be home from her solo backpacking trip by then.  Scott and Precious will also be joining us for Thanksgiving.  It’s funny how I used to feel that we needed to invite other people to our holidays so that the day would feel special.  But now that my children don’t live at home anymore, it is they who fill up the chairs at our table and make our house feel full.

This year I want to pick out our Christmas tree and decorate it on Thanksgiving Weekend.  That’s early for us, but it is necessary in order to have my children with me to share in our family traditions.  For the past few years, I have missed having them with me.  So it is time to take advantage of these precious moments.  As it turns out, Lauren’s new plans will also allow her to be with us this Christmas!  I know this won’t happen often after this year, so again, it is a day to be cherished.

Most special of all, is that we have planned a vacation that will allow us to spend a week with both Lauren and Scott, along with their significant others, John and Precious.  All six of us together for a week on an island in the Caribbean!  And to make it even more memorable, Rob and I will be renewing our wedding vows with our children by our sides.

I am so full of thankfulness this Thanksgiving.  As aware as I have always been that life is fleeting, that moments like this should never be taken for granted, I am going to hold on to the present and feel it to the fullest.

Theresa Dodaro is the author of The Tin Box Trilogy and The Porcelain Doll.

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