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Twenty Thanks

| Tuesday, November 18, 2014

With the holidays approaching, everyone is excited to go home and be with family. But this year, Thanksgiving will be a little different for me. Not only am I celebrating my 20th birthday on the 27th, but one important family member will be missing from this day of double celebration: my grandmother who passed away on October 17th.

My Grandma Nancy’s presence will be missed this Thanksgiving, but it will be a time to give thanks for all the memories she’s shared with me throughout my 20 years. So this year, here is what Thanksgiving means to me:

1. It’s a time to be thankful for love, especially the love my grandma and I shared.

2. I’m thankful for gifts God has given me, particularly my gift of writing and love for English, and sharing them with my grandma who was an English teacher for over 20 years.

3. It’s a time to appreciate family and friends we’ve been blessed with — those with us and those who have entered God’s kingdom.

4. I’m thankful for food, even though her pie will be missing from the table.

5. It’s a time to be thankful for yourself, and I would not be the woman I am today without my grandma’s influence.

6. I’m thankful for laughter: my grandma’s unique and contagious laugh.

7. It’s a time to appreciate education, especially my Catholic education from St. Joseph High School where my grandma was an alumna.

8. I’m thankful for teachers, dedicating their lives to students like my grandma did for many years.

9. It’s a time to be thankful for our health. My grandma was an avid swimmer, always healthy and active.

10. I’m thankful for music: every concert and musical my grandma attended to hear me sing and watch me perform.

11. It’s a time for photo-ops, to take pictures and reminisce over photos of Thanksgiving’s past.

12. I’m thankful for sports, especially football and the team my grandma and I love: the Green Bay Packers!

13. It’s a time to appreciate the world around us: memories of the view outside my grandma’s cabin on Pioneer Lake in Conover, Wisconsin.

14. I’m thankful for tea, time my grandma and I spent over drinking tea and giggling at her large tea pot collection.

15. It’s a time to appreciate clothes, the scarves my grandma always wore and bought me to add to our huge collections.

16. I’m thankful for sweets, treats always found in bowls all over my grandma’s condo.

17. It’s a time for great conversations and to remember how my grandma could chat up anyone and make them feel special.

18. I’m thankful for my mental strength, a quality credited to my grandma and her example.

19. It’s a time to appreciate your heritage: the Irish within me on my grandma’s side that makes me love Notre Dame.

20. Finally, I’m thankful for the precious gift of life. Even though my grandma’s was taken too soon, she will forever live in my heart.

Twenty things I’m thankful for on my 20th Thanksgiving. Family is everything, and I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, wherever they may be.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Alaina Anderson

Alaina is a Junior at Saint Mary's College and is studying English Writing and Communication Studies. From the warm and exotic state of Wisconsin, she is a professional shower singer, an ambassador for The Elephant Pants, and an avid lover of alliteration.

Contact Alaina