It’s quiet in my house this morning.
It has been our tradition to entertain a mixed crowd of family and friends on Thanksgiving. We would prepare for weeks to stage an outdoor meal marked by good food, robust conversation and a pile of dishes to wash.
Not this year.
Yesterday Bill and I celebrated 30 plus one as a married couple.
Our first Thanksgiving was spent flying home from our honeymoon as we set our wedding date for the only free weekend for UGA and Auburn football fans.
That put us in the airport on Thanksgiving Day. No crowds. Just a naive couple heading home to an empty apartment with the future in front of us.
That future we imagined is what we are living.
Moment to moment.
Day to day.
Month to month.
Year to year.
And now three decades later, I am grateful for the moments that defined our union.
Three babies. Of course.
The oldest son seeking his own future out west.
The middle son spending this week with his special gal.
And the baby girl taking a break at home in the final weeks of navigating her first semester as a college freshman.
As I reflect on our life together I recall so many moments.
The good years. The hard years.
The houses we occupied. That first apartment. The fixer-upper. The subdivision upgrade. The dream house. Then three rentals with a cozy cottage currently keeping our footprint small but efficient. All made homes not by the square footage and decor but by the memories invested therein.
Some of the people in our lives that loved us back then remain heart-stamped but not present. Those memories we cherish.
My mother. Bill’s mother. My godfather. So many others.
And we also treasure those sweet friends that walk with us in this life.
And while it’s quiet in my house this morning, I say thanks.
I am grateful for my husband and his abiding commitment to our family.
I am grateful for this loving community and meaningful work.
I am grateful for our divided country but remain hopeful for what love can do to heal us. Today we will gather as a party of three with a condensed version of Bill’s family. Sick babies will reduce the headcount and the noise level but we will give thanks for them and for everyone present and passed.
And when this day is over and the remaining child returns to school, we will be as we started. The two of us. In a quiet house with less future ahead and the naivety battered, but with many precious moments left to celebrate.