All of that being said, the tough times remind me why we celebrate Thanksgiving.
In 2012, we were all set to go celebrate Thanksgiving in the hospital with my dad. We had just lost my grandma (my dad's mom), & were all still anxious about the thought that my dad had nearly lost his life, & was still so sick. But he had recently been moved from ICU to a normal room, & that was encouraging. My mom brought food from Ponca to OKC (where Laker & I were living at the time), & on Thanksgiving day, the doctors surprised us & told us my dad could go home! We crammed my large family into our tiny apartment, & we had the best, most grateful Thanksgiving of my life.
In 2014, we had just lost my Uncle Eddie. Thanksgiving is the one holiday each year that we always celebrated with Eddie. He had the craziest personality, & was always saying the wildest things. Thanksgiving was spent eating his famous noodles, listening to him tell outrageous stories, swapping semi-inappropriate comments about whatever we were discussing, & laughing hysterically at whatever came out of his mouth. Now, though, we still tell those stories. We still laugh. We still remember.
Sometimes it's more important to be grateful for the people you're surrounded by than the place you're in. & sometimes being thankful isn't about what you have, but what you had. Be thankful for the memories, & thankful you can make more. It's sad that some things are over, & it's unfair that some people aren't with us anymore, but we can still be thankful for new opportunities & the family we still have.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. - Romans 8:18
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. - 2 Corinthians 4:15-18