Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~Jane Howard


The holidays can be a particularly difficult time for families struggling with the challenges of dealing with a serious illness. Friends of Karen Siblings often share that they feel sad when they notice the differences in how their families celebrate the holidays now that a brother or sister is sick. Holiday rituals may be put on hold or even forgotten about and celebrating may feel really hard. It may be especially tough for families when an ill child must spend the holidays in the hospital. These struggles can bring up many feelings.  It may be helpful to talk about these changes and share these feelings, and to find new, small ways of celebrating each other as a family.  Finding simple things for which you are grateful in the midst of difficult times might help make celebrating feel a little easier. We asked a few of our FOK siblings to try a thankfulness project.  They created hand turkeys to hold all the important things in their lives. You can see the images on this page.  They also spoke about the special ways they are thankful for their siblings. Their thankfulness statements can be read below. We hope their words inspire you to create your own hand turkeys to share with your family as a small, but powerful way to come together this holiday and to acknowledge the unique gifts you see in one another. Can you think of one thing you are thankful for to share with your family?
 

I am thankful for Henry and Juan. –Junior, age 6
 
I am thankful for sharing apple pie with whip cream and ice cream with my brothers.-Juan, age 11
 
I am thankful for my family. – Henry, age 7
 
I am thankful for all the things my sister has done, like get me water and play with me, and because she is my sister. -Duardy, age 11
 
I am thankful for my siblings because they take care of me. -Dashley, age 8 almost 9.
 
I am thankful for the family I have because they always cheer me up every day and every year.  --Danna, age 9
 
I am thankful when my brother lets me play with the phone with him. -Amari, age 4
 
I am thankful for my whole family because we love the same music and think about the same ideas. -Aiden, age 8
 
They may seem as distant as the stars above; luminous and mysterious. But in your darkest hour, they light the way. Turning midnight hours into the most spectacular of days. - Morresia, age 25
 
I'm grateful for my siblings' natural ability to make me laugh, for their care, warmth, and company when I feel alone. -Anastasia, age 21
 
I'm grateful for my siblings because they are nice to me and I love them. - Salassie, age 13

Siblings
, thank you for all that you do in big and small ways to support your families. We are grateful for all of the inspiration you provide to us every single day.  We wish all of our FOK Siblings laughter and simple, beautiful things to celebrate with family and friends this holiday season. And be sure to check out Our Sibling Page in the New Year to meet our next Sibling of the Month.