Thanksgiving was different this year for me. Yet, there are three main reasons why I celebrate Thanksgiving. First of all, it is evidence-based that being thankful is directly related to your wealth, health, and happiness. Secondly, this holiday is widely celebrated in the US, and I want my family to be assimilated with American culture because we live in the US. Last but not least, this is a time when you get together with your family and/or friends to celebrate.
Here are some events I am thankful for.
Every time I think about my life in the US, I think of it as a great journey thanks to all my friends, colleagues, and of course, my family. I think about all the caring people who I encountered since I landed in the US in 2012.
Leaving my country with a small bag and 300 dollars in cash, I did not expect that I would get everything for free. Yet, I knew I would be alright because I had my mindset programmed as if I had everything. A huge thank you to International Friends, a community organization, for organizing a Giveaway Event for international students of Washington University in St. Louis in August 2012. It was like from having nothing to everything or being broke to becoming a millionaire. Can you imagine? Bed, pillows, blankets, kitchenware, furniture, tables, and many more for free. Really? It blew my mind to see how many people you do not know are willing to help you.
Also, Kanykei, a young woman from Kyrgyzstan, had left a few boxes for me. I saw my name on them. It was so amazing to feel welcomed and supported, especially when you come to an unknown country. Thank you to Brian, Chioma, Rachel, Brenden, Sean, Nicholas, and many others! Thank you to each and everyone who supported me, guided me and helped me with my studies.
I am thankful to Zinaida and Phyllis. Phyllis is my ex-landlord, and Zinaida is originally from Kyrgyzstan. I think of Phyllis and Zinaida as my family because they care about me, as mothers. They always help me. In 2015, one of my friends did not believe me when I said: “I got 5,000 dollars!” My friend told me: “Americans never give money, especially to an international person like you.” I proved him wrong. It has been several years, and they still support me.
Thank you to my friend Liesl and her family, who are always there for me when needed. I appreciate everything she does, but two things I will always remember: she was there with me when I delivered my son in 2015, and she found a close friend for my eldest teen daughter who needed a friend. Now, they are best friends, and I love it.
On this day, during my graduate school years, Greg and his wonderful spouse Martha used to invite all students to treat with Thanksgiving dinner. They always arranged a ride for such students, like me, who did not have vehicles. I am thankful for these kinds of memories.
I also want to thank my parents, who helped me raise my four children, who invested in my education and believed in me. I would not achieve so much without the support of my siblings, parents, and friends.
Thank you, God, for gifting my family with so many blessings.