A Thank You Letter for Thanksgiving

Giving thanks at Thanksgiving is customary; giving gifts is not. But a gift is exactly what I got from my daughter.

Addy wrote me a thank you letter and, really, what better gift could anyone ever ask for?

Dear Mom,

Thank you for giving me the gift of life and exposing me to the most beautiful parts of it. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for accepting me. Thanks for my perfect little sister. Thank you for the most beautiful, magical childhood I could have ever asked for.

Thank you for being so strong for us when I know it was hard for you. Thank you for showing me how to not only survive excruciating pain, but thrive through it. Thank you for being such a good example.

Thank you for teaching me that nirvana is a twenty-dollar campsite and some breakfast burritos in a beautiful place. Thank you for teaching me how to read and write English and music. Thank you for teaching me how to teach. Thank you for teaching me how to love. Thank you for teaching me how to truly live.

Thanks for singing to me. Thanks for taking me to the beach. Thanks for dinners at your house even though I’m in college. Thanks for the hikes. Thanks for the ukulele. Thanks for finding Jim. Thanks for all the Christmases. Thanks for taking pictures. Thanks for having dogs.

Thanks for being you.

Love you,


Addy's Thank You Letter

Cooking with Addy

3:44 p.m. on 11/30/13

Admittedly, if it weren’t for A Moment in Time, 3:44 p.m. on November 30, 2013 would have come and gone without any recognition whatsoever. It would have been just one of the approximately 415 minutes of the road trip back home after visiting family for Thanksgiving.

But because of A Moment in Time, I focused on what was going on and took note of it. Now I will write about it. Now it will be forever etched in my memory and will have played an important part in shaping my thoughts about the day and Thanksgiving and family and the changes that can happen during the course of one year.

We were almost home, just about 40 minutes left in the seven hour trip. I noted an interesting cloud ahead of us. It looked like a giant eel, mouth open, about to gobble up a certain plane of the sky. My daughter was next to me, singing, as she had been fcloudor most of the trip. I would have had to yell for her to hear me, so instead I just pointed. Cloud. Camera. She looked at me like Really? You need a picture of that?, not knowing that I was going to blog about this moment. Then she obliged. It’s not a very good picture, but it was part of the moment.

As she sang, I realized as I have almost every day for the past several months how much I’m going to miss her sweet voice next year. She’ll be graduated (hopefully) and off to college (hopefully) and, though she’s often doing her own thing and I’m doing mine, she’s like background music. Always there. I’ll miss her. The other daughter, in the back seat, may be away, too. She’s applying to be a foreign exchange student. We’ll find out within a month if she’ll spend her junior year abroad. I’m not even thinking about missing her yet. Nine months away. It’ll be worse than sending a daughter off to college.

So what will Thanksgiving be like next year? It’s amazing how things change from one year to the next. Most of my relatives are in my hometown, but this past year my brother lost his job and had to relocate to another state for new employment. His wife, a teacher, will join him once the school year ends. One of their sons started college this fall and the second will begin next year. Now that his parents are relocating, who knows where he’ll go to college. Will we see this chunk of our extended family next year?

And then there is the new generation. This Thanksgiving, we were blessed to spend time with two two-year-old grandnieces and a three-month-old grandnephew. To think how much they will change in one year’s time! And perhaps there will be new little ones within a year’s time, too.

And what about health. Everyone is healthy this year. What a miracle that is and nothing to be taken for granted. Moments are passing and we’re all aging.

Reflecting on this year, this moment, and wondering where my girls will be next year makes me extra grateful for this quick snapshot in time, taken on Thanksgiving Day 2013.


After a few moments, I turn the music down, and say, “Hey, what’s the name of the song you were singing? The one about the sweater?” It’s what was on right at 3:44.

She thinks for a second or two. “The Sweater Song.”


She smiles and nods. (Hedley’s not Weezer’s, Sweater Song)

It’s a sweet song and I’ll always remember her voice singing it 374 minutes into our road trip home from Thanksgiving with the extended family. This Thanksgiving. 2013. What will be happening next year at this time? Another year gone. A year of changes, here and there.

Each moment, good or bad, happy or sad…. each one counts. Each is precious, relevant, consequential, leading into the next and the next and the next. Moments in time.


A Moment in Time is a shared blogging experience, where writers document and share their stories from the same moment on the same day. The day and time for the next A Moment in Time is posted by Randee every few days in such a way that you’ll have a heads up on the exact moment to which you need to attend and focus on and, if it’s significant in some way, write about and add to the list.