My favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving, with most of my favorite foods is almost here—pumpkin pie, turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and more pumpkin pie. During this season I always take a step back and reflect on what I’m thankful for, particularly given the international and domestic happenings of 2019.
My family. Life’s highs and lows are celebrated or survived through the support, love, and camaraderie of family. This year we made our family “heritage” trip to the Azores, where we saw firsthand where Michael’s grandfather lived prior to emigrating to the US almost a century ago. Cole, Janelle, Michael and I (and about ten others) had a fun and profound adventure and gained a newfound appreciation for ancestors and the challenges they faced on their native lands and in emigrating to the US.
My close friends. These key people live near and far as a result of my work and travels, with many not celebrating American Thanksgiving, but all appreciate what this holiday can mean. I am grateful for their friendship, support, and endless conversations to explore, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And of course, good glasses of wine or champagne!!
American and international colleagues. So much of my life experiences have been shared with my IFHIMA and AHIMA colleagues, and many are close friends. These people have helped advance personal and professional causes, and helped me understand cultures, goals, and concerns from many different perspectives.
Nature. This might seem odd to be on my list, but I love the outdoors especially because of the beauty, peace, and serenity it offers. Michael and I moved to Montana this year, so we now experience lakes, rivers, mountains and trees every moment. We made seven trips to Glacier National Park since we are less than an hour away from the west entrance—heaven on earth.
I pray for and support those who have lived through the disasters of 2019, particularly the community of Paradise, California where almost 30K people have lost everything. These disasters remind us of the fragility of life and nature.
Here’s hoping 2019 has brought many grateful moments to your life and family.