There are so many things I’m thankful for. Having Todd, Emmanuelle, Margot, my parents and in-laws here for the weekend, good health, my husband, my excellent team at work, my home and all of the other privileges we enjoy. I miss Derek and Jess but am thankful that Derek married into a loving family and of course he will spend some of the holidays with them. What is top of my mind though for thankfulness this season are my parents and parents-in-law.
I say this as someone who had very close relationships with my grandparents. We lost my dad’s mother when I was 3 so unfortunately I don’t really remember her but my dad’s father lived in the same apartment building as us until I was 7. I remember going over to his apartment after school and many family evenings together. He died when I was in college and Todd is named after him. My maternal grandparents moved near us in Great Neck when they retired (I was in elementary school). They babysat for us frequently and drove us often to our activities if my mom was busy with work. All of my grandparents had very clear values which they shared with me. These ranged from to the political (I’ll never forget my Grandfather’s disappointment when Hubert Humphrey lost the election), to social issues – my grandparents were outspoken against prejudice – and most importantly values around family.
Amazingly, our parents were already grandparents when they were Steve and my age. Derek was born when our parents were 44, 45, 46 and 48! This has been such a gift. My children’s grandparents have all been very active in their lives. My mother-in-law has driven in from Stockton innumerable times over the years to watch the kids when Steve and I have had simultaneous business trips. Our parents have been at the many important lifecycle events – bar mitzvah’s, graduations, recitals, sports games etc. We have taken wonderful extended family vacations with our parents, siblings, nieces and nephews – 20+ person affairs. I’m looking forward to attending Jess’ thesis defense next week with my mom (Jess now qualifies for the full granddaughter treatment). I am quite certain Derek and Todd’s interest in medicine was influenced by their 3 doctor grandparents.
The main point I wanted to make about this is that I realize how lucky we are and how lucky my children are. I am very thankful for this. We are getting to the stage in life where I see from my friends that this is the exception not the rule – we have truly been blessed these last years to have this multi-generational family. I hope it lasts many many more.