To celebrate Thanksgiving, we went back to St. Louis to visit my family. I can’t lie and say that I didn’t have any apprehension around the potential dinner conversation during the holiday. As a family, we do occasionally discuss politics and we have differing opinions. True to my nature, I read articles on what to do if politics are brought up at Thanksgiving. I even read an article from the Federalist Society describing how to talk to “your millennial” about why you voted for Trump. This was my attempt to understand the apprehension others might be feeling. I realized that for me, Thanksgiving did not need to be an opportunity to express my views nor a format to try to find middle ground between myself and family members who felt differently. Instead, it should be a time to share memories, enjoy family traditions and be together.
In this spirit, we set off for our 13 hour drive from our home in Colorado to St. Louis. The drive is not for the faint of heart; 7+ hours in Kansas is a lot of time to stare at fields. Sure, there is beauty in these fields but it’s difficult to see after that many hours. We make the 13 hour drive not because we enjoy it so much, but rather we never want to leave our dogs behind. A holiday doesn’t feel the same if you’re not surrounded by your family and our two dogs are most definitely family members. However, this year was a little different.
In addition to my apprehension around political discussions, there was also anxiety and sadness from missing our two constant travel companions. This past spring, we lost our two labs Mitch and Milly, and we lost them two weeks apart. It was terrible, to say the very least. We’ve since adopted two new dogs, but this would be the first trip home that Mitch and Milly weren’t with us. It may seem strange that while surrounded by my human family members, I found myself missing my four-legged family, but that’s what happened. Pets have an ability to understand us in ways that others cannot. They don’t care who you voted for, what you’re wearing, or how many slices of pie you consumed; they truly love unconditionally. My gratitude for having this type of love in my life cannot be measured or fully expressed, but I can try to show my appreciation.
The organization who rescued Mitch, Animal House, is raising money for a new facility. Their aim is to expand so that more animals can be rescued and adopted. To honor the memory of our two rescue pups, I donated funds so that more animals can find their forever home. Animals know nothing of judgment, they only know how to spread love.
Thank you for everything, my friends. I am forever grateful.