Thursday, November 27, 2014

This life I lead.

This life I lead, it's so completely beyond anything my wildest imagination could have ever conjured up when I was a child dreaming of the future. This is my sixth Thanksgiving in Africa; five different countries (the first two were both in Benin) and a million different adventures, friends who have come and gone and some who have come again, different jobs and different seasons and heartache and joy and new passions and people and bigger dreams for the future.  I've held audiences with various heads of state and United Nations officials and I've negotiated with butchers for pigs feet and I've seen life enter the world and I've grieved it's departure. I've learned bits and pieces of dozens of languages, I've seen miracles in patients and even in my own heart, I've had moments where I can't imagine going one more step and I've had moments where I've wondered how on earth I could have ever gotten to be so so so blessed. I'm so grateful, this Thanksgiving day, for the honor and the privilege and the blessing it is, this life I lead.

But.

This is the sixth Thanksgiving I am far far far away from my mom and her pecan pie and my nana's mashed potatoes and gravy.  I have a nephew I've never met and a niece who wouldn't recognize me if I walked through the door.  Friends have lost touch or moved or get wrapped up in their own lives and families and seasons, and hearing "I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams" brings tears to my eyes every. single. time.

I love this life I lead, but it comes at a cost.  I'm thankful today for so many things, not the least of which is my family here in Madagascar and there in Benin and there in Seattle and there in Minnesota and there wherever else you find yourself today. 

Happy Thanksgiving.

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