This year, like the past several years, I feel melancholy at Thanksgiving. Even though I have plenty to be thankful for, I can’t escape the feeling.

When I think of Thanksgiving, I remember one more than the others. The memory starts with me and my family sitting in a Thanksgiving service at a local church. As everyone stood to give testimony to the many things they had been blessed with, my blessings seemed overshadowed with one word – cancer.

It had only been a day or two since we had learned that the health challenges my mom had been facing were the result of cancer. The word itself seemed ominous and frightening. We didn’t know at that time that we would only have months left to spend with my mom, but we knew it was serious. I knew I would be expected to stand and share. I also knew I had plenty for which to be thankful. Still, I wasn’t sure I could speak without tears.

It is odd that I have so many happy, wonderful Thanksgiving memories, yet that one poignant year comes to mind first. It was the last Thanksgiving I was able to spend with my mom.

Now several years later, the sadness still surfaces at this time of year. And for that, I am thankful.

I am thankful that my relationship with my mom was one of closeness and friendship. I am thankful that I had a mother that loved me. I am thankful for these tears, because they reflect how blessed I am to have had such a wonderful mother.