Thanks for Our Family, Dead and Alive

Thanks for the Teutons, Celts, Norse, Slavs, and Balts, calling back the winter sun, who fought to keep Christ out of Yuletide as fiercely and for as long as they have now been crusading to keep Him in.

Thanks for the Shawnee, who explored the Appalachians long before they settled down and shared hearths with Welsh coal miners and Italian grocers in a land that would secede from the Confederacy and become the State of West Virginia.

Thanks for our Great Lakes cousins, the Anishinaabeg, whose beautiful words and ways live all around us today.

Thanks for the Asian refugees who erased their tracks but lived.

Thanks for the Congolese slave who crossed through a watery grave and for her unfathomable captors.

Thanks for those who forgot they were passing -- along genes that held a silent scream.

Thanks for the French Canadian homesteaders who persisted.

Thanks for the Russians who resisted.

Thanks for the new Americans who fought the Germans in two Great Wars, the immigrant father from Germany and then his own son.

Thanks for the Hungarians who left us nothing but a name.

Thanks for the Tia of our hearts and for all of our relatives of choice and chance and chemistry, if only the personality type.

Thanks for the children who learned from their parents' mistakes and for all those who parented children born to someone else.

Thanks for all branches of our family tree, whose deciduous motives and manners have made a layered loam of history.

Thanks for the spirits, sainted or salted, who are with us on Dia de muertos, All Saints' Day, and Ukrainian Christmas Eve.

Thanks for every progenitor, willing and unwilling, proud and ashamed, honorable and dishonorable, who made possible:

This child, all-American, only-great-grandchild, top of her class, who wears a BLACK LIVES MATTER pin and a half-shaved head to school, whose best friends have different genders and races and abilities, and who fits perfectly, right at this moment, into her daddy's old powwow regalia.

Merci!

Danke schön!

Miigwetch!

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