Thankful and blessed. That’s how I feel as another Thanksgiving is upon us. In reality, like you, I’m grateful every single day. Although there is something so meaningful about gathering with family to celebrate this special day.

I wouldn’t take a million dollars for the Thanksgivings that I shared with my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I just thought we were getting together for another holiday, but little did I know, we were making memories that would last a lifetime.

It is amazing that I can still see the memories so clearly. I’m sure my grandmother rose well before the sun, to cook her famous turkey and dressing. Then my parents, along with my aunts and uncles all contributed their specialties to round out our meal. I get hungry just thinking about my cousin, Elaine’s, sweet potato soufflé or my grandmother’s coconut cake. We filled up our plates like it was our last meal.

While the food was such a blessing, I’d say the fellowship we shared with family would be a close second. As a youngster I just thought my gang of cousins were just hanging out, but it was so much more. We grew closer with each passing year. I wasn’t too proud to get out and toss the football with the fellows. Then we would all join in a game of tag or hide and seek. Then we’d bunch together and strike a pose with our Polaroid and Kodak cameras. We didn’t leave for the day until we planned our Black Friday shopping that started early the following morning.

As we all grew up and had families of our own, we wanted to instill the importance of our heritage to our children. So on a flash it was second cousins bouncing on a trampoline and spinning out on a go-kart. While the responsibilities shifted with the passing of my mom and grandparents, we were still able to pull together a Thanksgiving to remember. God bless my aunt Eva Mae who shouldered a lot of the responsibility to pull the meal together. I was also happy to learn Elaine perfected many of my grandmother’s desserts. So while the location changed, and regretfully some of the main players left us, we still made a ton of memories for us and our children as well.

Here we are; Thanksgiving 2019 is upon us. What are we going to do with this day? I’ll be the first to admit, this day of thanks has changed so much over the years, but we can still pull off the perfect day of thanks. While many of us will get together with family today, others will gather with a group of close friends. What matters most, is the memories we are making with the people we love. Next, we probably won’t see a lot of games in the yard because the kids will be watching YouTube videos, playing games, or joining in to take a selfie. Some may decide to head to the mall that night, or watch football all afternoon and evening.

My prayer is that each of us will embrace this holiday, and gather with friends and family for a time of fellowship. We will be making memories for a lifetime.

Sherry Lewis is pastor of New Beginnings Worship Center.

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