Monday, November 30, 2009

On Being Thankful

My Thanksgiving did not turn out as I had planned. My grandpa passed away the day before Thanksgiving.

I will miss my grandpa. He was a really good guy. He loved eating sand dabs, wearing his University of Arizona hat, and his family – especially my grandmother. Watching my grandparents together was like watching two peas in a pod. I can only hope that whoever I end up with loves me as much as they loved each other.

Tonight, we had a shivah at my house in his honor. More than a hundred people came (bearing a ton of dessert, as Jews do best) – to pray with us, be with us, and be there for us. They packed into the kitchen and the den, sitting and standing, hugging and kissing, eating and drinking.

During the short prayer service, I stood next to my family and looked around. There were people, literally, on all four sides of us. We were completely surrounded by people – family, friends, people from Adat, rabbis, coworkers, people from Federation, people from elementary school and middle school and high school, people we’ve known forever and people we just met a few months ago. Our community was there, to surround us, comfort us, and give us love.

On the day of Thanksgiving, I didn’t say what I was thankful for. But it’s only a few days late, and I want to say it now: I am so thankful for my community.

I am so thankful to have a community that loves me and my family so much. I am so lucky to have people who take the time out of their busy lives to call, email, Twitter, text, Facebook, or visit me when I need them. I am so thankful to be a member of my community.

For everyone who came and prayed and gave us hugs and kisses and condolences and cake, thanks so much. It’s because of you – our community – that we have the strength to get through the bad times. And for that, I am very thankful.

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