Thanksgiving 2021 · 25 November 2021

There is always something to be thankful for. Thanksgiving 2021 is no exception.

My mom passed away this fall. So did one of my aunts. Yet even with funerals and memorials and adjusting to life without them, I still have lots to be thankful for. Lots.

I am most thankful for my parents. They were wonderful people. People with flaws to be sure. But they were always there for us. They taught us that our family is there for each other regardless of how much we have hurt each other. They were the ones who taught us right from wrong. Most importantly, they were the ones who showed us Jesus. That we could be His hands and feet. They taught us that if God is for us, it did not matter who was against us.

I am also thankful for my family. My immediate family and my extended family. The ones who are close. The ones who are far. The ones who have gone before us and passed on. I am thankful for the memories that we share. The time we spent together. And just the bonds that we have made as we travel through life together. I know that I am the dad in my immediate family, but I am thankful for the lessons that my wife and kids have taught me. And even though I am not done learning it, my greatest lesson from all of my family is the lesson of humility.

Humility is a lesson that many of my friends and colleagues have been teaching me too, although with them, the lessons usually come more pointedly. (Yes, I am still striving to become a mediocre man.) I am thankful for the lessons that my friends and colleagues and even my students have taught me. But more than that, I am thankful that my friends have become my family too. We have bonded as we have worked together. We have laughed and cried together. We have celebrated birth and mourned death and endured tragedy together. Those are all things that families go through together. (It might seem like I am just talking about my work friends, but I am really talking about all my friends.) I am thankful for my friends and colleagues.

I guess when it comes right down to it, I am thankful for the people in my life. For those who have come for a moment and for those who have stayed for a lifetime. For those who share DNA and those who share experiences and those who share tears and those who share laughs and those who share struggles. I am thankful for all the different people with whom I have different relationships. And yes, it is a bit cliché, but I am thankful for all those people who have been woven into the rich tapestry that is my life.

One last little bit of preaching here. I want to be clear that I am thankful to God for all the blessings of all the relationships He has given me. It is not the government or the universe that has given me the blessings of my life. It is God. And to Him goes all the thanks of this Thanksgiving day, and every day.

Thank you Lord for the wonderful people in my life. Thank you for life itself. And thank you for Thanksgiving 2021.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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