Last week we touched on the lessons we can take from Veterans Day as we give thanks for the love of our own family members. Now that Thanksgiving is only a few days away, it becomes even more meaningful to express your gratitude for their presence in your life. Here are a few more ways to apply the message of Veterans Day to Thanksgiving.
Recognize the importance of revealing the love you have for each other. Those who have been in harm's way know the meaning of the words, "it's too late." Don't put off sharing your love; decide to make it a priority. Each day, acknowledge those you love, and who love you, as if it were your last.
Understand the value of friendship. Those in the service have trusted and leaned on each other as they've shared their experiences and relied on their camaraderie. Know that we are here to take care of our friends and family – close and extended – difficult though it may be at times.
Family and community support is there for the taking when you know where to look and how to ask for it. Be open to the reality that you might need to utilize the input and generosity of others. You are not diminished when you allow another to help you.
Draw upon your own strength. You will learn more about your capabilities when you are tested by hard times than when everything is going well for you. Resiliency is increased each time you get up and put one foot in front of the other. Bravery comes in many actions – facing an illness, providing for your family, starting a new career - not only on the battlefield.
Just as those in the foxholes feel the honest emotions of fear, anger, pain, guilt, anxiety and loneliness, allow yourself to experience these emotions when they are a part of your life. Sandwiched between caring for your offspring and your parents, you will feel stressed and anxious at times. Acknowledge these feelings, and then begin to deal with them.
If you remember the fragility and transience of life as you move through it, you will savor each good moment you have. To live your life to the fullest is a lasting mark of respect you can pay to your family and to the veterans who have sacrificed the innocence of their youth for you.
So after having paid tribute to the men and women of the Armed Services on Veterans Day, make a commitment to employ some of these techniques to honor your own family as you celebrate Thanksgiving together. You will find that, as a part of the Sandwich Generation, it makes your time with each member more meaningful and relevant.