Something to be Thankful for

There has been one thing that has been troubling me the most while I’ve been down here and it touches on something that I believe to be a vital part of any one person’s life and society as a whole.  And that one thing is stable families.  So many of the kids here come from broken families or families that never were really together in the first place.  So many kids are raised by their grandparents instead of their mom and dad.  So many kids have complicated family webs full of half-siblings, step-siblings, my mom’s-boyfriend’s-kids “siblings”, or cousins who needed someone to take care of them.  So many kids have seen things and been placed in difficult situations that they did nothing to deserve.

These are problems that exist all over, but it’s hard to see such a high concentration of them.  Some people might blame it on poverty.  People who feel like they have nowhere to find a legitimate job turn to other ways of making money, like drugs.  Some people might blame it on a society that has glorified the individual and sexual relationships over the family unit and the sanctity of marriage.   There are lots of things we could blame it on.  But the end product is the same:  A kid who is lacking the stability kids so desperately need.

I could use this post to get angry and rant about the things that I blame it on.  But I’m not going to.  I’m going to use this post to tell you two things that seeing all of this has made me realize.  1.  If there is any way that I can help kids in situations like these, I will.  And 2.  I am so lucky to have the family that I have.

Because it is November, and because it is almost Thanksgiving, I think I’d just like to write a few of the things on here that I am thankful for:

I am thankful for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who took “‘Til death do us part” seriously.

I am thankful for “road trips” to Hart Co-op and Tri-County Feed or just down the road to fix the fence with one of the greatest men I know, my Dad.

I am thankful for lost objects found and problems fixed with “Mommy Magic” courtesy of none other my Mommy herself.

I am thankful for two skinny little brothers who used to stand on the sofa, roll up their pants, take off their shoes, and morph into sumo-wrestlers.

I am thankful for trips down a dirt road to a house with willow trees in the front yard, filled with the smell of wood smoke, where I could eat pizza with my Grandpa and Grandma after church while watching Lawrence Welk.

I am thankful for Uncles and Aunts and cousins who make me smile.

I am thankful for the time spent creating many different fair displays with my hard-working Grandma.

In short, I am thankful for the stable, loving family that made me the person that I am today.

And I pray that more kids could have what I’ve always had.

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