As we all prepare to sit down to a feast we will never be able to devour in one sitting with the people who matter the most to us, I thought it would be appropraite to reflect on the things for which I am the most grateful.
I am grateful for my two daughters, who fill my life with joy, chaos, drama, challenges and pride. Without them, I am just a shell. They are my reason for being, my purpose in life, and the reason I get out of bed in the morning. They are my brightest accomplishments, the true legacy I leave to the world.
I am grateful to my mother, who is one of the most amazing women I have ever had the honor and pleasure to know. My mother taught me everything I know. She taught me how to knit and crochet, how to sew, how to tell a story. But most of all, she taught me how to be a mother and she continues to do so every day, by example. I am in awe of her strength, her wisdom, and her tolerance for the children - and grandchildren - who continue to challenge her patience. She is my foundation, the woman who keeps me grounded.
I am grateful for my siblings, who each inhabit a special place in my heart. I cannot imagine a life without them, even though I am still learning to live without one of them. I still miss you, baby brother, and I think of you often.
I am grateful to all of the families who won't be celebrating this day with their whole families because their sons and daughters are in Iraq and Afghanistan defending us from terrorism. Thank you is not an adequate expression for how I feel about your sacrifice. To those soldiers, stay safe. I hope you all come home soon. You are our national treasure.
I am grateful for all of the friends I've made on my journey to being published. I will cherish them forever.
I am grateful for the gift of life that allows me to sit here this morning and list just some of the things that I am grateful for. It is so short and so fleeting. So, please, as you sit down with your loved ones today, make the most of it. For when you build a memory, it is not just your memory - it belongs to everyone who sits down with you. So don't just give thanks today; give a memory that your loved ones will cherish forever.
Thank you for indulging me in my reflections of gratitude. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones.
Margay Leah Justice