One of my favorite things to hear about the Awaken My Heart series is how people love the Zabriese family. Readers have said they want to be adopted by them and they wish Katherine was their mom!
I agree. I have always wanted a big family. I wanted to know that when one person wasn't available to tag along somewhere or help solve a problem, someone else likely would be. In short, a large supply of unconditional love, and the Zabrieses are full of that. They're open-minded, full of empathy ... yet, as any fan of the series knows, they are not perfect. I suppose that's what makes them so appealing: They have had their tragedies, arguments, family issues ... but they rise above it all, tripping and stumbling along the way. Most important? They take care of each other--perhaps to a fault at times, like the way Galen always feels he must safeguard his siblings and his mother, preserving the deep bond between them all. I love the idea of that emotional security.
I grew up with one sibling, a cousin who was like one, and a friend who became like a brother from a young age. Those were special relationships to me and I thought they would last forever. Much of it drifted away, though when I was older and the sadness over that did a number on me. Still, it might have been even worse if it wasn't for something else ...
Around age 15, I met a group of friends--four guys and one girl--who became family. Although one has steered in another direction, the rest have been the closest I could ever get to the Zabrieses. They've seen me at my worst and never cast me aside afterward. So, when I ruminate over wishing I had come from a large family, I am reminded that those friends filled in the empty spaces to become real uncles to my kids, examples of loyalty and love.
So this Thanksgiving, I'm going to concentrate on being grateful for the people and things that filled in the empty spaces. After all, part of what makes the Zabrieses so fantastic is the group of friends they typically have around them. I have that. They might be way too far away these days, but I do have them.
And my immediate family? It might be just the four of us, but if there was one thing I've ever done right in my life, it was raising two really great kids...awesome people. So, this Thanksgiving, I'll be feeling a bit like Katherine, I suppose.
Who are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?