To My Family,
I know that this year will be a bit different from the eighteen years prior. For starters, the Notre Dame Football team is 11-0 heading into Thanksgiving weekend. But in all seriousness, this is the first year I will not be at the dinner table with you guys to celebrate Thanksgiving.
I am already missing the smell of turkey, yams, cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing, spinach, and Pillsbury honey butter rolls. I miss the sound of laughter as Uncle John tells us about his 1950 Philly memories and wondering how he has made it to 87 years old without eating any vegetables. I miss the enthusiasm that Aunt Kathy brings to every story she tells, describing even her weekend Atlantic City trips to the finest detail. I miss mom’s smile after we are all seated at the table and she can finally rest her feet for a while. I miss the sound of our four glasses clinking as we say cheers to another Thanksgiving together.
I know that this holiday will be hard, but I know that I am in good hands here on campus. Thank you for everything.
To my high school friends,
This is the third Friendsgiving that we will have, and the first that I will not be there. It seems like every year it gets harder and harder to come together and I look forward to Christmas break when we all will be back home in South Jersey once again. I hope that this year, you guys have another amazing potluck and that Emily is able to make some of her famous Buffalo Chicken Dip for me when I get back in December!
It seems like we keep getting further and further away from one another but I am glad that we all know that no matter how far college is and has taken us, home will always be in South Jersey. Thank you for perseverance (and buffalo chicken dip).
To my Badin Hall sisters,
Thank you for being here with me at my incredible highs and emotional lows. College has helped me grow tremendously over this past year and a half, but I could not have come as far without you guys. You have all opened your arms to me and for that I am forever grateful. I know that I have made some forever friends in this group of sisters and I cannot wait to see what the future holds. Thank you for friendship.
Growing up an only child, I always wanted a sibling. Little did I know that I would find the greatest sister here in Indiana. When I think about all the things that God has granted me in life, I am always thankful for the sister that He has provided me in you. Our worlds wouldn't have clashed had we stayed in our comfort zones. I would still be in Philadelphia and you would be in New Mexico, but I am incredibly thankful that you had the courage to join me in these very cold Indiana winters.
My mom always told me the famous quote, “you go to college to find your bridesmaids, not your groom” and I would laugh. However, you are my twin and I now know that this quote is truer than ever. You have helped me develop a greater sense of unity, faith, confidence, independence, family and kindness than previously thought imaginable and for all of these things and more, I am grateful. Thank you for sisterhood.
We’ve been best friends since 1st grade and haven’t looked back since. Despite different high schools, different colleges and about 11 hours of farms and unknown land between us, we have never drifted apart. Our friendship has never faded and I am very thankful for you to have welcomed me into your family, and you already know that you are apart of mine. You are my forever friend, and I cannot wait to see all the great things that you will accomplish in life.
Whether you are in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Jersey or abroad, I know that distance will never pull us apart. Thank you for family.
Where do I even start with you? You have truly stumbled into my life in the greatest way possible. Somehow you are able to see past my goofy, pseudo-confident layer and admire the extremely vulnerable person that lies beneath. I am thankful for your patience with me, for your thoughtfulness, for your courage, strength, empathy, ability to see the truth, mindfulness, and love for me.
We have come very far in such a short time, but I am grateful for the positive impact that you have had on my life and look forward to the amazing things God has in store for us both, individually and together. Thank you for you.
To my mom,
Mamma you are the one person who has been there for me since day one. No matter how tough things got, no matter how crazy I acted, no matter how many times you just wanted to whack me upside the head because I was acting like a teenager, you always loved me and stood by me. You have put your life on hold for me to be able to pursue my dreams and I will never be able to repay you for that.
Because of you, I am able to sit here in Badin Hall at the University of Notre Dame and write this. Because of you, I am the woman I am today and am able to stand tall and firm in the decisions I make. You have always been a woman of great character and strength and I hope to one day be able to exhibit those same characteristics. You inspire me each and every day to go out and do my best. Thank you for me.
To my hopefully inspired reader,
This time of the year is one where we are all called to reflect on what we are most thankful for. I ask you all to do just that. Here at Notre Dame, we are called to be other-centered and while we might lose sight of that it is our obligation to take time - especially during the holidays - to quiet ourselves and be grateful for all the things and people we have been afforded in life. So, for whom are you thankful?