Lakeside

Happy Thanksgiving 2023

Thanksgiving brings joy and reflection, celebrating connections and traditions. Amidst global challenges, it's a time to cherish relationships, memories, and blessings.
"Happy Thanksgiving" on black backround with pumpkins

During this annual holiday, there are going to be masses of individuals and families who are traveling, making dinners, and hosting to spend some time with family, friends, and loved ones for this Thanksgiving holiday. With all the stress, anxiety, and issues we are dealing within our families, society, and globally, it’s refreshing to have the time and space to relax a bit and enjoy this season of gratefulness.

For some of us, there is also some loss during this holiday. I know of two different situations that are in my sphere of influence where there has been a death too soon that has left spouses, families, and friends completely devastated. This would be their first Thanksgiving experiencing the loss of these key people in their lives. At those family gatherings, there will be a glaringly apparent empty seat that will produce an emotional loss.

We still have thousands of empty seats world-wide due to pandemic deaths that were not expected. We also have loved ones that are in compromising and fearful situations across the globe due to being in war zones with all the fear and losses they may be experiencing. Then there are the moments of loved ones who have passed on that we have cared about and missed for years.

As much as Thanksgiving is an enjoyable and meaningful holiday, it has mixed emotions for so many of us. Holidays are a time for celebrating, but also remembering, many wonderful traditions we’ve shared with each other. I still think many of us are getting back into this holiday with a sense of recovery from the pandemic and world events. What’s important is that it is a relational time that can be uplifting, connecting, and joyous!

I encourage everyone to emphasize an intentional gratefulness. We have so many blessings to celebrate. Even the loss of loved ones can be a set of memories that we should openly share and process together to continue to celebrate their lives and impact. It may cause laughter or tears, but can be extremely meaningful to share as we join around food and traditions that have created loving connections.

I do hope you and your family and friends have a joyful Thanksgiving. As we share the joy of connecting to family and loved ones, past and present, there can be a deep gratefulness in relationship that can open our lives to deep emotions and bring us fulfillment and enrichment.

Tell the stories, laugh and cry, and take this opportunity to enjoy the beauty of life together.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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