THE ROOT ISSUE
970-515-6332 | GREELEYENDO.COM
THE POSITIVE SIDE OF CHANGE Family, Togetherness, and the Memories You Make
This November, commercials, ads on the radio, and feel-good TV movies manage to keep gratitude at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Most people spend time with their families seated around a kitchen table piled high with delicious food while swapping stories of thankfulness. More often than not, the stories are chock- full of wholly positive moments, but I’ve come to realize that the most challenging experiences often become the most meaningful. While they may be frustrating or complicated initially, challenges can lead to great personal growth. Looking back on this past year, it’s the changes I’ve undergone that have shaped me the most. One change we made as a family was to our Thanksgiving dinner tradition. In previous years, my family would have a big get-together with the customary meal staples, like the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, Stove Top stuffing, cranberry sauce (still equipped with the indentations from the can), and three separate pies: pumpkin, cherry, and apple. While our dinner was quite mouthwatering, our Thanksgiving breakfast tradition was my favorite. My mom and my aunt would make FOR THIS YEAR, I ENCOURAGE YOU NOT TO DISCOUNT THE CURVEBALLS OR CHANGES LIFE HAS THROWN AT YOU.” “AS YOU SIT DOWN TO CONSIDER ALL THAT YOU’RE GRATEFUL
aebleskivers, a type of Danish pancake, that we topped with either cinnamon sugar or jam. Those pastries signaled the holiday season more than any other tradition, food-related or otherwise. Last year was the first time ever without those pastries, and at first, the change caused some nostalgia. Eventually, I ended up being grateful for it. This past year, my wife and my three sons embarked on a new Thanksgiving tradition. We traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, for a week, where we spent time playing volleyball and soccer, swimming in the pool, and playing in the sand. For our holiday dinner, we dined at a local restaurant right by the beach and feasted on lobster tails, tilapia, scallops, and shrimp. While it was different from my Thanksgiving dinners I had as a child, my family and I loved the experience so much that we are going again this year. And I’m particularly excited for this year’s trip because my dad will be joining us. I am truly grateful for my relationship with my dad. My mom passed in December of last year, and her death was difficult for all of us — especially for my dad. But recently, my bond with him has grown so strong. Life without my mother has given us both a newfound appreciation for the importance of family and being there for one another in difficult times. Her death was a change for all of us, and while we miss her every day, this challenging experience has brought us together and shifted our focus to each other.
I would like to end by sharing what I am most thankful for this year and every year: my wife and sons. My wife, Elizabeth, constantly sacrifices her own desires and needs in order to make sure that everyone else’s are met. I am so grateful for her kindness. I am also thankful for my sons. Nathan is in Columbus, Ohio, serving a mission for our church; Matthew plans to go to college at the end of this year; and Blake tears it up on the soccer field. As you sit down to consider all that you’re grateful for this year, I encourage you not to discount the curveballs or changes life has thrown at you. In my experience, the most influential experiences are sometimes the most challenging.
-Dr. Scott Lowry
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