It was 28 years ago. I was a young dad with two babies under three.
My Mom and Dad had invited us to their home for Thanksgiving dinner.
Their tiny house was packed. There was my wife, myself, and our babies.
My two brothers were also there with their families as well.
The kitchen table was full and people were eating on TV trays and with plates in their laps.
We eased around each other so as not to spill our overflowing plates and full glasses.
Tummies were being filled with turkey, gravy, potatoes, stuffing, buttered rolls, and pumpkin pie.
Old memories were being shared with laughter and love. A dozen different conversations were going on at once.
I sat off to the side, silently sipping my sweet tea and taking it all in.
I saw my baby girl in her high chair with her face covered in mashed potatoes.
My little boy was still eating while gravy dripped down his shirt.
My Mom was cutting up the pumpkin pie for dessert with a smile on her face.
My wife and sisters-in-law were talking in one corner while my Dad and two brothers were laughing and teasing each other in the living room.
As I watched it all, suddenly I had a feeling in the center of my chest.
It was a curious mixture of peace, contentment, love, and joy.
It made me feel full to overflowing in my heart as well as my stomach.
I realized then what I was feeling: a moment of pure thankfulness on Thanksgiving Day.
So many years have gone by since then. Still, that moment lives on in my heart like it was yesterday.
It wasn't the food that made it so special. It was the coming together as a family in love.
My Mom and Dad have passed on to Heaven now and my brothers and I don't see each other as much as I would like.
Yet, I can still feel their love for me. I carry it always in my heart and soul.
Thanksgiving isn't just a holiday that we celebrate once a year.
It is a way of life. When we fill our hearts with thankfulness we open them to even more blessings.
When we fill our hearts with love we become the people we were always meant to be.
And when we share that love with others we make this world what it was meant to be as well.
May all of your days be full of Thanksgiving then. May all of your moments be full of Love!