Happy Thanksgiving, Rose!
(Mom and I had a Meg Ryan marathon a few weeks ago, and what could be more appropriate than Joe Fox forcibly spreading festive cheer? Nothing!)
It's that time of year when I tend to get all deeply introspective and saccharine as I reflect on my innumerable blessings and contemplate the beauty of the holiday season. Last night after a Rojo margarita with Hannah, I found myself re-reading last year's post, and so much of it still rings true that I'm tempted to just quote it all over again and call it this year. These certain themes never change: the love for friends, the appreciation for the love of my family. These are constants that I am endlessly grateful to have in my life.
I continue to count myself incredibly lucky to have the friends in my life that I do, and wish there was a better way to tell them just how significant a role they play in my day-to-day. The one who has been with me from the start, the one who challenges me to be a better person, the one who can always make me laugh with a well-placed emoji, the one who knows me better than I know myself, the one who can comfort me and drive me crazy at the same time…these people add so much color and vibrancy and laughter and support to my world just by being themselves and being there. I hope I never stop appreciating the contributions each makes, and I am so immensely thankful to count these people among my inner circle.
My family, similarly, continues to be the core and bedrock of my world. How do you encapsulate the Schwegman Five in a few words? I think the answer is that you don’t, because the five of us, together and apart, truly defy explanation. This year in particular, I’ve come to appreciate that, really, I could lose everyone else in my world and as long as I still had them, we’d be happy and still find a way to thrive. So many joyful experiences…Paris with Mom and Em, helping Jonny D with resumes and job-hunting, so many deep conversations and country sing-alongs with Papa Bear…my parents and my siblings and I have created a world of our own that is, in my opinion, as close to perfect as a family could be.
This year has been hard for us in a lot of ways. Last year I took the time to talk about how deeply special my Grandma Lo had become to me in the wake of losing her husband and facing the last years of her life alone. We said goodbye to Gram this August, and along with that final, greatest goodbye faced several more of a different nature. The resulting schism in our family has brought out a whole lot of ugliness and angst and vitriol where we least expected it, and I think it rocked us, my mom especially, to the core. Watching her deal with that with her trademark grace and positive attitude has made me continually reflect on the kind of woman I want to be, and I'm thankful for having her...and my grandma Lo...as examples of that woman. I find comfort in looking back on those last special years with Lo, and in knowing that I’ll always hold her warmth and laugher and joie de vivre close as I embrace life through its challenges.
On a broader, more philosophical note, I’m thankful to live life in a world that manages to stay so replete with beauty in the face of what often seems to be boundless ugliness. The world is still reeling in the face of the Paris (and other) attacks. Belgium just ended a lockdown. In my own backyard, hate crimes and shootings are gaining ever more attention in my precious Minneapolis. In this season of thankfulness and love, the blight of all this darkness and hatred seems especially dissonant and bitter. I’ve found so much hope and comfort in the stories of true human goodness prevailing, though. My personal favorite is this beautiful, beautiful clip of a French father and young son working through the aftermath of the attacks in Paris. Watch below:
As trite and Hallmark-y as it sounds, in a world of guns, I’m thankful for the flowers I’ve found in my own life this year. Both in my personal sphere, where I’ve seen hateful words lobbed around like grenades far too frequently, and in the world, where every day seems to bring some new and heartbreaking headline, I hope we can all take a quiet moment this Thanksgiving to seek out the flowers…the emoji conversations with friends, the familial inside jokes, the sunshiny days and the perfect songs and the words of affirmation. I hope we all continue to see the beauty of the little things, to keep telling the ones we love that we do, and to remind ourselves that, when we find these little flowers, “ça va mieux:” “it will be better.”
Happy Thanksgiving (a bit early!), my loves. Hope yours is chock-full of wonderful things!