It is my 56th Thanksgiving of my life. I don’t remember a lot of the early ones, but in recent years I am thankful for each one that I have experienced.
There are many family members that I used to celebrate or visit in past Thanksgivings that are no longer here on this plane of existence. Today, I looked across the room and noticed my wife’s mother, Gene, was not sitting in her usual spot. The moment observing her absence brought a tear to my eye and made my voice crack. But I am still thankful and filled with gratitude that she once graced that spot and all our lives. My wife’s brothers are also gone as well as her Father. My brother and Daddy and Momma have also missed Thanksgivings for so many years of my life now and yet, how can I not be grateful for Mom’s and Dad’s time with me for 40 years or so. Their missing seats at the dinner table bring out sadness that they are not here; but amazing happiness that they were once present in my life.
And now, I experience gratitude that I am still surrounded by my wonderful family on this day–My Wife, Our Two Sons, Our daughter, her husband and our grandson. Our dog, and our 4(yes it’s now 4) cats.
I’m still in touch with my Sister, my sister-in-law, My wife’s sister and all our nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and grand-nephews through email and social media; even though we can’t be together on the actual Thanksgiving holiday; they are with me.
I have a world of material things to also be thankful for and many new experiences and opportunities over the past year that fill me with an abundance of gratitude. And I would be remiss if I did not state the happiness that comes from my friends “in real life” and those friends that visit this blog and interact with me on a daily basis through social media, especially all my Facebook friends.
I know Facebook friends that I have never met in person and yet I know all the events in their lives and they, mine and we never fail to encourage each other in good times and console each other in times of trouble. I am thankful for their closeness even though in some instances we are separated by thousands of miles.
Today, I could easily list a hundred things I could be thankful for. Things, toys, possessions, items, and clutter I barely notice on most days. Items that add value, convenience and even luxury to my life, but they all pale in comparison to the people and family that fill my life everyday of that life. They are truly my bountiful harvest on this day of celebrating bountiful harvests. To all those family and friends…Thank you. I am grateful for your presence in my life.