What are you thankful for?

By Travis Hunter
On November 17, 2018

 

Thanksgiving has the unfortunate task of being sandwiched between two holidays of excessive popularity and profitability. Some see it as nothing more than the gateway from which Halloween morphs into Christmas, but it’s much more than that. Putting aside, for the benefit of this column, the history that followed the first celebration of the holiday, Thanksgiving is a time for us to truly reflect on the things we take for granted.

Growing up in a military family, I spent most of my formative years with my immediate family being the only constant in my life. New places, new people and new schools, but I always had my sister and my parents by my side through it all. I can say, without a doubt, that they’re what I’m most thankful for.

It always seemed like such a foreign concept to me when I would hear people say that they didn’t get along with their siblings. My sister has honestly been my best friend since I came into this world. We’re so alike that we often have what we call "twin moments" despite her being almost two years older. I couldn’t imagine life without my partner-in-crime.

I’ve always admired my parents, but I’ve noticed that something happened as I got older. My relationship with them kind of shifted into more of a friendship and the child-parent dynamic was somewhat eschewed. In that shift, I’ve been able to really get to know my parents and I can say, without hyperbole, they are the best people I’ve ever known.

In retrospect, some of my fondest memories are of being a child in Spangdahlem, Germany, at Thanksgiving. Family friends who were far away from home and their own families would join mine to celebrate the holiday. We would gather around the table to tell stories, laugh and enjoy great food. I’m glad to say that tradition continues to this day. A collection of people from all over, from different backgrounds and experiences, brought together with friendship and love to share a meal.

Thanksgiving in its purest form.

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