A time for gratitude: I’m thankful for family

The world feels a bit in shambles at the moment. I can’t turn on the news or open up a web site without being blasted with depressing, nerve-wracking or infuriating images or statements.

I’m torn between crawling in a hole for several months (years?) or climbing to the top of a mountain with a bullhorn, shouting “KNOCK IT OFF EVERYONE” at the top of my lungs.

It’s a tough time. Here we are entering the season of gratitude and celebration and I’m at a loss. In my small, little bubble, things are good. Sure we’ve had a few bumps in the road, but we’re happy, healthy (minus a few colds) and have a warm bed to sleep in.

I am all too aware that not everyone can say that.

So what do I fall back on when I feel down and out? What do I focus on when all seems lost and hopeless?

These people.

Hoffmann Family

This is my family. Not my whole family of course, but almost everyone on my mother’s side. We spent the weekend in Virginia celebrating my grandfather’s 90th birthday.

It was a glorious, chaotic, magical time.

At almost 38 years old, I am quite aware of how lucky I am to still have living grandparents. My children aren’t just aware of their great-grandparents; they KNOW them. They’ve been able to spend time with them.

This weekend my children had uncles, aunts, cousins and friends surround them in love. We told stories, sang songs, laughed and may have even teared up a few times. It was simply amazing, exactly what my soul needed.

I’ve always cherished my family, but the older I get, the more I cling to them. When the rest of the world seems to be falling apart, I know I can rely on my family. We’re not perfect, but no one really wants perfect. We’re all perfectly blemished. They can’t fix everything but knowing that I have them by my side makes everything seem a little bit rosier, a little bit sunnier.

My grandparents created this little segment of family. They’ve passed down their virtues, morals and helped guide us all along the way. They don’t always agree with our choices, but they’ve never let their love waver.

And that is what family is all about.

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  1. says

    I’m so glad you have a large and extended family to celebrate with and that you’re able to spend time with your grandparents. My daughter had a few years with my grandma and even though I wasn’t sure if she’d “get it”, my daughter most definitely did. I’m sure your kid will too. It’s easy to take them for granted, but they leave their mark on us and our kids.

    Happy holidays and celebration!

  2. Lee says

    Erin~this is such a lovely homage to your wonderful family. I am daily thankful for your own mother Chris in my life, and the fortuitous miracle of meeting someone of her caliber and pedigree. If organizing and relocating seniors were an olympic event, she would be a living legend. On top of that, she manages to find time to keep a spit-shine clean and organized home, help out with the grandkids, have folks over for game night, plan and execute gala birthday parties for her father and mother-in-law, and travel to Richmond and DC regularly to visit each of them , during which time she continues to help out. And all that before noon!

    Her integrity, work ethic and stamina are a continual source of inspiration to me. In addition to being my right-hand and business partner, she’s become a priceless friend. The gods were truly smiling on me the day she entered my life.

    The amazing thing is this: Each one of you is like that. It seems to be in your DNA, like some idiosyncratic clone gene. Would that you could bottle some of it as an elixir. In addition to living to 100, we’d likely all get rich from buying stock in your family company.

    Folks who think rabbits are the penultimate gift that keeps giving itself haven’t met you guys.

    Lucky me and lucky ‘we’ who have….xoxoxoxo Lee

  3. says

    That picture is insane! I’m jealous. We just don’t have a big family, and none of the ones we do have live close enough to see regularly. I feel like my kids are missing out.

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