Usually I dread Thanksgiving. It's just one of those days where I'm forced to spend time with family and eat way too much. For some reason, this year was different. This year, I was excited to spend time with my family, and I realized that I have so much to be thankful for.
About a month ago, my aunt died of brain cancer. It was the first time I cried when a family member died, and it really hit me hard - partially because I volunteer with the American Cancer Society and partially because I have a deeper appreciation for my family. My family seems to be "getting smaller." It's not that more people are dying, it's that more people are fighting and not talking to each other. It's always bothered me, but it bothered me even more after the death of my aunt. My aunt was healthy and lived an active lifestyle before she was diagnosed with brain cancer. But when she was diagnosed, her health quickly deteriorated. Life was taken away from her so quickly, and it could happen to anyone. You'd think that this would bring my family back together, but it didn't. And that's what bothers me. Life is too short to not talk because of the DUMBEST things. I'm sorry, but their arguments are ridiculous. I've learned that life is too short to hold grudges, and I've learned that the people you love can be taken away from you without notice. You might as well enjoy and appreciate the time you have left with them. It's unfortunate that it took my aunt's death for me to realize this, but I'm thankful to have finally learned this valuable lesson. And I'm thankful to have been able to spend my Thanksgiving with part of my family.
And I can't forget about my friends. I am so thankful for each and every one of my friends. I cannot even begin to describe how much my friends mean to me. Never in my life have I felt such a strong connection to my friends. I love each and every one of them, and sometimes I don't think I tell them that enough. My friends have been there for me through some of the hardest times, but more importantly, they've been there for me through the great times too. In the past, my friends have been there for me during the tough times but abandoned me when I just wanted to have fun and laugh. But these people are different. Sure, we've had some incredible heart-to-hearts, but we've also had some amazing and fun times together. They are hands down the most amazing people I have ever met, and each one of them has a very special place in my heart. I don't think they will ever know how much I love them and how much they mean to me.
I feel like the luckiest person in the world right now. I have an amazing family, incredible friends, and beautiful Chi Omega sisters. All of the material things don't matter when you have such awesome people in your life. This Thanksgiving, I have absolutely everything to be thankful for.