Katie Dilse »

The ultimate gift of thanks…

“This is really, really the best time of my life,” the 22-year-old college student said in the Bismarck airport last week.

And just like that, he turned, and walked away.
To fly across the world.

It was an 8-month dream.
One that changed our hearts, and his.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the most difficult things in life.
Leo.
My Brazilian son for life.

He taught me gratitude.
Thanksgiving from the heart.

For the most genuine gift came through him. An unforgettable moment of pure gratitude. No grand gifts. No loud hoopla. Just a quiet moment where his heart could speak to mine.

Leo left his South American family, and countless friends to come to unknown territory last March. His first flight away from his homeland, to an American family he had never met. Co-workers he knew nothing about. An a language that was foreign.

With lots of trust and faith, he became a son to me.
A friend.
A teacher.
An inspiration.

He told his friends all about our family. You know, the 5 Guys.
He talked about our fields of wheat. Our wind.

He invited his own mother across the world to see what the United States of America, the land of the free is all about.

Leo’s mother fell in love with our country.
Our open spaces.
Our sunrises and sunsets.
She was relieved to see that her son was well cared for.

And… when a quiet moment arrived, she pulled me aside.
To say thanks.

“Thank you for taking care of my son,” this Brazilian beauty said.

Leo gratitude

Mom to mom.
Soul to soul.

It was a huge moment.
Because her heart was pure.
Her gratitude was so sincere. So huge.
It filled every inch of my heart.
It flowed through the room like a peace. A tranquility.

With an open heart, I accepted the most beautiful gift of gratitude of my life.

Thanksgiving is really about the people we love.

We need to share our love.
Invest in people.
Strengthen relationships.
And pause for gratitude.
For the greatest gifts of life can only come if our hearts are open, and our lives are ready to be touched.

Because, Thanksgiving is now.
But… gratitude is every day.

Happy Thanksgiving from my heart to yours!
Enjoy your time with your family!
Make time for your dearest friends!
Savor every last bite of your pumpkin pie. (thanks pumpkin farmers of the world!)
And… savor the games you play, and the moments of conversation.

Thanksgiving is really about our friends.
Our family. And the people who become our family.
The pseudo Moms of life.
The “sisters” of the heart.
Brothers of the soul.

Its about the kids being kids.
And adults joining in.
Its gonna be a bit wild.
Chaotic and crazy!

But… that Brazilian boy taught us wild is GOOD!

Really. Really. Good.

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