Edwin Friedman used to suggest people ask “what gifts did your family give you?” rather than only think of the deficits. Thanksgiving is a great time to do this. It can be a way to manage your anxiety as family gathers, or to sense the connection across the miles. We’re traveling to Seattle to visit my brother, and then the following weekend we will be moving my parents from California to Portland. So I’m experiencing a heightened awareness of my family story.
Here are five things about my family I’m thankful for:
1. They have been pioneers, from Huguenots escaping persecution to homesteaders in the Midwest to settling in the West.
2. They love language.
3. They know how to survive setbacks and even disaster.
4. They are people of faith, at least some of them in every generation.
5. There is a certain tolerance for difference in offspring.
What are you thankful for in your family?