Tell your family how thankful you are for them

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by Angela Cain

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Sometimes we let the holiday pass without giving a lot of thought to it. We go through the motions. It’s another day on the calendar.

Angela-Cain-300
ANGELA CAIN

We may celebrate with friends or family, but do we really take the time to express our thanks for the things that mean the most in our lives? As I age, I am trying to live more in the moment, appreciating the breath that I take when I wake in the morning. I am currently reading a spiritual enlightenment book called, The Power of Now by author Eckhart Tolle. He urges us to let go of the pain of the past and live in the “now” as the truest path to happiness.

I want my “now” to be filled with more thankfulness. I admit that it’s hard to get the noise out of my head each day, as I go through the checklist of daily tasks or carry around the baggage of anxieties in my work and personal life. But when I take moments to truly be thankful, my day is better. “Thank you God for letting me wake to enjoy this beautiful morning. Thank you for my health and the health of our children. Thank you for my wonderful, extended family.”

If we learn to live more “in the moment” instead of “in the mess,” think of how radically our lives will change over time? “Thank you for the nice conversation I had with a friend. Thank you for the money I have for a cup of coffee.”

Why not make a plan to be more grateful, starting on Thanksgiving, and continuing each day after? This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for a family tradition that I briefly mentioned in this column before. Four years ago, my family started the “Donnie Cain Turkey Bowl Classic,” in honor of my late dad who played and loved the game.

Some 30 nieces and nephews, of all ages, have a blast playing flag football while my five siblings and I, along with other family members, cheer them on. We give team players trophies and playing cards with my Dad’s picture and we finish the day with a big dinner and a talent contest. I get such joy watching all of our kids playing, singing, dancing and basking in family love.

Last year, I made a video so that our children will have recorded memories they will never forget. I asked each family member, in the video, “What does family mean to you?”

Their answers were so poignant, it made me cry. Please consider telling your family or friends what they mean to you and how thankful you are for them. Happy Thanksgiving!

(You can email comments to Angela Cain at acain@wthr.com.)

(Reprinted from the Indianapolis Recorder)

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