|The American cemetery in Normandy, France|
November 11th is also Lāčplēša diena, the Latvian commemorative holiday marking the anniversary of the Latvian national army's victory 93 years ago today. Although independence was proclaimed November 18th of 1918, Soviet and German troops still occupied the country until the decisive battle almost a year later. Lit candles are placed in windows throughout Rīga to honor the freedom fighters who fought for Latvia’s independence.
It isn’t just the holidays and the approach of Thanksgiving that has me reflecting. I have a score of things to be grateful for, each a reminder of the multitude of people and things in my life that fill each day with love and happiness.
The first came a few weeks ago when we finally left our temporary apartment to move into our new home. Our belongings arrived soon after, and the comfort of having our clothes, our kitchen, our furniture quickly superseded the temporary inconvenience of boxes piled high throughout the house. After the 6 months spent waiting on our apartment in Clermont-Ferrand, I am immensely grateful to be warm and cozy in our own home before the holidays, so quickly after our move.
The second gift arrived a week ago in the form of my mother. Her assistance has been invaluable; the unpacking, cleaning, cooking and care of Lauris and Mikus seemed insurmountable before her arrival, and in only one week we have gotten so much done that it seems like we’ve been living here for months.
|Photo credit: my mom|
It isn’t often enough that I slow down and take stock of all the blessings bestowed upon me and my family. Especially recently, after moving back from France and during all the chaos that has ensued, I have taken for granted the family and friends that have been there for us every step of the way. This month I have decided to take some time every day to think about how very fortunate I am to have been blessed with a wonderful husband, two healthy children, a foyer to be a femme to!
* Today I wish to mention how thankful I am that my sister and her family in Brooklyn were spared the fury of Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent nor’easter, and how very proud I am of their volunteer efforts to help their neighbors and those not as fortunate.