Bounty of things to be thankful for

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The first major holiday after the passing of a family member is always the hardest, in my opinion.
Earlier this year, my Maw Maw, my last remaining grandparent, passed away.
Any holiday spent with her was special, but during Thanksgiving and Christmas, she whipped up some of the best culinary creations I’ve ever tasted.
One of those was her ground meat dressing. I used to love watching her chop the vegetables while I reveled in the aromas coming from the pan as she added them to her ground meat.
She knew how much I loved it because she would always tell my dad that she was making it for our feast.
Due to her illness, it has been a long time since I savored her meat dressing. Many of my family members have tried to recreate the dish, but theirs doesn’t quite measure up to hers.
One thing I’ve learned this year is how much I miss having grandparents. I was beyond blessed to have had a grandparent in my life for 32 years. Not many get that experience and I know how lucky I am.
I miss their laughter, their words of wisdom and the outpouring of love that only a grandparent can provide.
Before I became an aunt, I never realized just how much love one could feel for a person. When I was a teacher, I definitely became attached and loved all my little toddler students. But when I see Nate smile on the iPad screen, the love is overwhelming.
Although I wish I could see him more in person, I’m thankful for the moments when the Facetime application rings and he beams that first smile at me.
Although I’m thankful for my many blessings throughout the year, this time of year provides me the opportunity to reflect on the things that matter.
I’m thankful for my husband who spoils me, loves me and cooks delicious meals for us every night.
My parents are my rock and without their love and guidance, I don’t think I would be as grounded as I am today.
I’m thankful for my sister and brother-in-law, who have shown major strength through some of our family’s darkest hours, and risked it all to bring Nate into this world. After losing two infants to premature birth, they and her doctors took the necessary steps to ensure our little miracle arrived here safely.
I’m thankful for my animal babies, all three cats, dog and bearded dragon. After a long day, hearing their meows and excited barks is all I need to bring a smile to my face. Even the bearded dragon’s menacing stares make me happy.
Finally, I’m thankful for you, dear reader. Throughout my time year at the Item, I have received so much love from this community and I’m thankful for the chance to be here and grow as a writer and meet and write about all of the wonderful people who do such great things. There’s still so much left to learn and I’m grateful for the opportunity.
Happy Thanksgiving Pearl River County, may you and your family be blessed during this holiday season.

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