Today is seriously a picture perfect Thanksgiving.
The temperatures are just right, the sun is shining bright,
and there is just the right amount of youthful chatter around me.
It’s an all American Thanksgiving Day for sure.
Today I sit in my cousins’ dining room
and I can’t help but be incredibly grateful for my family’s sacrifice of settling into this country.
It’s nothing like the pilgrims of the way back then days, but kind of in a way.
You see, my dad moved to the United States in 1996.
My mom followed with me and my two brothers in 97.
Then my uncle and his family came a year later and later my cousin also came.
They all left everything they knew behind in search of a better life.
They left parents, brothers, sisters, and every friend they knew because
they had to do what was best for their families.
Perhaps it was a temporary plan… thinking we would return to the land that saw us be born.
But plans changed. We all settled in the states.
Some of us have since married and had our own kids. Others are in college or working.
All of us are striving to make the American dream come true.
It’s funny how one decision really changed the course our lives would take.
If my parents hadn’t journeyed here, I wouldn’t have my friends, my education, my job.
Most importantly, I wouldn’t have met my husband
and I wouldn’t have the deliciously squishy little boy I have today.
How can I not be grateful for that plane ride they put us on?
Sure it has been difficult… it makes me want to cry that I see the rest of our family
but once every few years. It makes me sad that my grandfather grew old
and that we weren’t able to be by his side when he passed on.
It makes me sad that we have to use the computer to keep up with each other…
that Facebook shows me my cousin’s graduation and my aunt’s big pregnant belly.
It makes me sad that I will never experience those things in person… with them.
But how can I not be grateful for the decision my parents made?
Without that decision I wouldn’t have the life I have right now.
And let me tell you that I absolutely love my life.
I’m in my cousins’ house listening to people talk about “el pavo” (the turkey).
Tonight we’ll have Thanksgiving in Spanish. To us, that’s just the way life is.
We’re a bunch of Costa Ricans who love America and it’s traditions…
because it has given us our imperfectly perfect lives.
And how can I not be grateful for that?