Family is everything.

"Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored." - Earl Nightingale

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always a time for the family to get together and enjoy a nice dinner and many, many enjoyable laughs. Laughs that would be easily remembered for years to come. Joyous laughs that will continue to make you laugh the following Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was a time for catching up with the family that you only saw during the holidays, whether it was due to distance or just due to how busy life can become.

"Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter." - Brad Henry

For the longest time, I would have two Thanksgivings a year. One with my dad's side of the family and a second with my mom's side of the family. At my grandma's, we would get together and enjoy the time we spent together. We would eat lunch, or, as my grandma saw it, dinner, around one or two, and watching a movie or shows together. We would leave there around four or five and take my dad home and prepare to head to my aunts for our second Thanksgiving meal. Oh, and I cannot forget the Christmas lists that we all would need to bring to my grandma's so that she could take them with her the following morning for Black Friday. (Oh, the terror I have yet to experience. O.o)

At my aunt's, we would all gather around the table and laugh so hard that our tummies hurt. So hard that there would be wheezing from all around the table; because we were all laughing too hard at each other laughing so hard that we could hardly catch our breath. After a while, that would continue, but the football game(s) would be playing in the background.

Of course, over the years, each Thanksgiving would change as certain family members would pass on and leave behind their happy memories for everyone to reminisce upon each year.

"My family is everything. I am what I am thanks to my mother, my father, my brother, my sister – because they have given me everything. The education I have is thanks to them." - Ronaldinho

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood but of respect and joy in each other's life." - Richard Bach

This year is my second year spending my holidays, my Thanksgiving, with my husbands family in Florida (mine resides in Michigan). I missed my family so much last year, but this year...this year I miss them more. I miss having two Thanksgivings in a day. I miss seeing so many family members in a single day and sharing those unforgettable laughs around the table. This year, I am thankful for every member of my family. I am grateful that we are all still alive and, for the most part, doing well...or trying out best to do well.

"The love in our family flows strong and deep, leaving us memories to treasure and keep." - Anonymous

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