Thanksgiving: my second favorite holiday after Christmas. For me, it’s the opening to the Holiday Season… A time to slow down from the demands of our busy schedules, to be reminded of our innumerable blessings, including the privilege we share, of living in The United States. It’s a day we dedicate to being surrounded by the people we love, because it’s family that matters most. It’s the one day a year, it’s acceptable to fill our bellies with more food than we healthily have room for. It’s the one morning a year I spend glued to the television, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, with the eyes and heart of a child. And it’s a day to be reminded of the many who are less fortunate, and, much too often, forgotten. ~ This year, my heart is absolutely overflowing with gratitude and joy… perhaps more than ever. What I’m thankful for, I’m blessed to say, isn’t different from last year, or the year before that… My list just got a little longer ♥ I’m thankful for my mother, who makes me feel as though she’s holding my hand and giving me direction, no matter how lost and far away from home I may be; a mom who harbors my secrets without judgement, and simply loves me, no matter the circumstance. I’m thankful for a most wonderful father, who spends months away from home each year (and never complains), to provide a wonderful life for his family; a father whose humor, friendship, honesty and love, I’ve been blessed to grow up with, as a daughter. I’m thankful for my brother, Joseph, who has taught me more as my younger brother, than I probably have, as his older sister… a brother who lets me share in his growing up, and whom I’m lucky to feel closer to, with each passing year. I’m thankful for my sister, Sara, whose infectious smile and gentle personality constantly reminds me, that it’s important to laugh, and to love all. I’m thankful for my baby brother, Brandon, who ties us all together, and reminds us to keep exploring and learning, just like him, no matter how old we may get. I’m thankful for my relatives, near and far, who’ve colored my childhood memories so brightly. And for the friends I’ve met all over the world, who became my family, when mine was far… thank you. But this year, I’m also grateful for the boyfriend who walked into my life, when I least expected him to—A man who loves me (and makes sure I know it), who completely brightens my world, who makes me laugh, and who encourages me to grow when I’m ready to give up. (Love you!) And while the list could go on, I’d like to end by saying that I’m thankful for his family too, for bringing double the love and fun into my life. ♥ Crank up the Christmas music, guys! Eat, drink, be merry, and be safe. And a very Happy Thanksgiving to all, from Italy!
My alarm will sound in exactly two hours. It will be 4:30am in Rome, Italy, and I will be exhausted, having only gotten a short nap’s worth of sleep for the night.
In New York City, it will be 10:30pm, and the holiday hustle and bustle will be only just beginning. Families big and small will be walking up and down holiday-decorated Avenues, millions of mittens will be worn to keep warm, and many red cheeks will be looking up… Up at the balloons being blown up for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade… Up at the shiniest night sky… Up at the stars that guard my greatest Love, my dearest By Apple.
A few more hours after that, it will be Thanksgiving.
As I board my flight for Romania, I will be excited to embark on a new adventure. I will be thankful for the chance to see a new land, discover a new country, and spend time with wonderful friends. But I will also tear up a little on the inside. This year will be my second, away from the family I adore, miles from a home-cooked turkey feast, and longing for the familiarity of home on one of my most cherished, favorite holidays…ever.
Tomorrow will be bittersweet.
To Katia, my queen - To Frank, my #1 man - To Joseph, my first friend - To Sara, my only princess - And to Brandon, my baby brother forever… I love you all. And for you, I’m thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Happy Thanksgiving, with Love.
- m e l i s s i m a.