If you asked my Grandpa Williams which holiday on the calendar was his favourite, Thanksgiving was top of his list hands down.
To be sure, he did enjoy Christmas and Easter and the others but Thanksgiving was the one he truly looked forward to and not just because of the massive turkey feast. If there was a holiday that captured the essence of his soul in terms of how he approached each day and not just the Tryptophan Memorial Day, Thanksgiving was the one.
And whilst I’ll confess I rather enjoy going to town on a lovely turkey dinner, Thanksgiving is also my favourite for much the same reason as Grandpa.
No matter what sort of madness is going on in the world in any given day, I’m truly thankful I at least had the opportunity to draw a breath and see that day come and hopefully see it go at midnight with the hope of seeing a new day dawn in the morning.
This year, I have much to be thankful for…not the least of which is seeing my kids reaching out their hands and taking hold of their destinies in their way. Nicholas is doing very well at Wake Tech’s automotive technician programme and has landed a position working the service department at Leith Toyota just up the way from his campus. Alex is doing well in school and he seems to be doing better in terms of his health. Katie rocked straight A’s in school this first quarter continuing right where she left off from her virtual freshman year.
These kids are my life and I hope that when my time is at hand that they will remember me fondly.
I’m thankful that life is starting to return to some measure of normalcy. I don’t see life ever returning completely to what things were like prior to the advent of COVID-19 and I see us living with some variation on this virus for many years to come.
But I would much rather be where we are now where we can reasonably go about our lives with relatively minimal restrictions. Yeah, the masks suck and I’m never going to be one who is going to be shouting “pick me, pick me!” at the top of my lungs to get a jab but after almost two years of getting used to it, it’s just not that big a deal anymore.
There have been some sobering thoughts along the way as well. My Uncle Roger passed away not too long ago and Aunt Betty has since relocated to be close to family in Utah and so for the first time in at least 60 years, our family no longer has a foothold in Volusia County. Aunt Nadine and Uncle George were the first when they moved there in the 1950s and over the years we would eventually max out at eight of us within 2-3 square miles of each other in Port Orange, FL and six of us were in the same neighbourhood.
That rather makes you think about and appreciate what it means to have a place to call home. We may well be gone from Volusia County now but that area of Florida will always be in our hearts at least a little bit.
Most of all, I’m thankful for those friends and family who walk beside me in the dark places where we must all go and cherish the times we have together for no one can truly know what the next day may bring.
What I can say is that should the new day come…I’ll be very thankful to have the privilege of being alive to appreciate the beauty of the sun rising over the horizon promising a new adventure and new things to learn are at hand.
May we also spare a moment to remember those who serve and defend our country and way of life and being thankful that their sacrifices allow us the choices and the freedoms we so often take for granted.
May you have a happy Tryptophan Memorial Day and cherish your family and friends as you gather to celebrate your favourite traditions. For at the end of the day, those are the people and the things that truly make life worth living and that is something worthy of giving thanks for indeed! 🙂