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This was it. This was the Thanksgiving to end all Thanksgivings. If it’s all about family and love and gratitude, I could not have asked for more than Thanksgiving 2009.

Even my Air Force grandson, serving in Afghanistan, was intricately involved emotionally with his parents family in California. Without that, something would have been missing. His own wife and children, stationed in New Mexico could not be with us.

S. Sgt. Lawrence was born on Thanksgiving Day in 1979. This year, his mother came up with a plan to pile up so many messages in his in-box for his birthday that he would be overwhelmed. It worked.

Two of my other grandsons were there, Robin and Jason, and even a foster grandson, Donnie. Three of my own kids and their spouses and even another grandmother, recently widowed.

The bunch of us had a feast to honor a king and hoped that Dustin got some anticipated turkey, at least. Our day together was quiet, restful, inviting much contemplation,  great conversation, peace, the beauty we see in each other and gratitude beyond measure.

I choose to feel that our appreciation actually contributes to the future of our unique and not-yet-perfect-country. It was always intended that America was to be an “experiment in democracy.” It’s success is not a guarantee. It’s not automatic. It’s more like a successful marriage, something that works because we put so much into it.

It’s difficult during wartime, to know what is expected of us, the ordinary citizens. How can we do anything or hold any thoughts to contribute to a successful America. I guess that, like with the marriage, the ultimate contribution is to hold an abiding, unconditional love of our country – knowing always that it’s not the representatives, the corporations, the deep pockets.

It’s the tear that wells up when we place our right hand over our left breast and pledge our allegiance to the greatest country on Earth. The “child” who celebrates the Thursdays.

 

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