Thanksgiving has always been one of my absolute favorite times of the year. Aside from the over abundance of food from which I have the opportunity to gain 10 pounds in one sitting, there is family, laughter, and a joyfulness that doesn't seem to be found on most ordinary days. This happiness comes from Thanksgiving being the time to reminisce about what has been and what will be. I have always loved getting together with my cousins and exploring our memories about family vacations to Jamaica or to Cape Cod. We laugh until our abs ache and our eyes are crying. We look at family photos and poke fun at one another about our "ugly stages" and our odd hairstyles and outfit choices. It's times like those that I take the opportunity to look fondly upon my childhood and be thankful for having such a wonderful family.

Not only am I thankful for my family, but for my health. Our family has endured great sadness due to illness, and as much as we allow our hearts to be consumed by this sadness, we become ever more grateful for our ability to live our lives the way our deceased loved ones would have wanted. And this gratefulness gives us an optimistic outlook in all that we do and see, which is truly a blessing in itself. Thanksgiving gives us the chance to give thanks to those whom we miss who have impacted our lives so sincerely and in such a way that has made us all the people we find ourselves to be today.

In summation, I love Thanksgiving because it opens my eyes to all that I love. I could sit here and ramble about my gratefulness for being fortunate enough to go to an amazing university or simply to live in a home with a roof over my head and food to eat. And I am thankful for those things. But Thanksgiving also gives me the reassurance that even if I didn't have the luxury of an education or of a warm home or bed to sleep in, that I would be okay, because I always have my family to lean on. A crazy, idiotic, obnoxious, hilarious, wonderful, loving family whom I adore with all of my heart.