In the United States, Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to reflect on the year, and to give thanks for health, family, friends....really, anything! I had never experienced Thanksgiving until I moved to the US from Ireland, and initially it was strange. What was this weird holiday on a random Thursday in November? And so close to Christmas! What about this bizarre food?
Now, I love Thanksgiving. I like that it focuses on gratitude and appreciating life's gifts, without the commercialism of Christmas. I also like that it is secular, and not belonging to any one religion.
This year, I am grateful for my wonderful clients. It is very difficult practicing immigration law under the current administration, but my clients understand this and appreciate my work.
I am thankful that I am really healthy and can still run, cycle, and do yoga, even if I get injured more than I used to ;)
I am always grateful for my close family, especially this year. My beloved nephew died in an accident in Texas in February, aged 21. It stunned us all and left a 6 1/2 foot hole in my heart. I am immensely thankful that his parents (my sister and her husband) are coping with the loss so well. They are heart-broken, of course, but they and their two daughters honor Mark's memory as he would have wished - seizing life, loving each other, and still laughing...just not as much as when he was here. I am awed by their strength.
I hope that life has given you something to be thankful for this year.
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.