Today is Thanksgiving and of all the holidays, I think this is the most worthwhile. It’s changed a lot since my early childhood memories. Thanksgiving was very important to my mother’s side of the family. Going to my grandparents house along with my aunts and uncles and all my cousins was a very cherished memory. But my grandparents are all gone now, my aunts and uncles are now the grandparents and great grandparents of their own families, and I don’t even really know most of my cousins anymore. My own siblings have aged, grown apart, and we all have our seperate families and lifestyles now. Mom is in a retirement home, and I live several hundred miles from all of them.
Life is always changing and sometimes this is really hard to deal with. It is very easy to become so disappointed by the things that have been lost, that we forget to enjoy the things that are. No matter how we think of this holiday, its history goes back to some very difficult times. Abraham Lincoln is the one that instituted the holiday during the most difficult time this country has ever faced (The Civil War). It is to be a memorial of when the early pilgrims first came to this country. The struggles those people faced were incredible. In the midst of isolation, famine, sickness, and even death there was a harvest celebration. It the midst of the all the struggles, it was time to pause and remember the blessings of life. We can always find things to be thankful for, even during the most difficult times.
So thought I would share my top ten list.
- Above all, I think I am the most greatful for my wife of 26 years who has put up with me all these years like nobody else could have. We’ve been through so much, and we still get mad at each other way too often, but the truth is I can’t imagine a better partner, nor can I imagine life without her.
- I’m am so thankful for a job that I find meaningful and allows me to do many of the things I enjoy so much. Employment has been a real struggle for me since my education was in a field I’m not capable of doing well. Being out of work remains one of my greatest fears. I fear death much less than I fear being jobless.
- I am thankful for my children and that they are close by so that I can see them on a regular bases. Both have jobs and are doing farely well. Both are kind, compassionate, independent, trustworthy, and responsible. I may worry about them, because that is my only true talent, but I really couldn’t have hoped for better qualities in my children. I love them very much. I’m pretty sure they will both be here later today.
- My granddaughter just turned a year and a half a few days ago. I am so greatful for her. I usually get to see her about once a week and she brings so much joy to my life.
- I’m thankful that my mom is doing well and in a place she enjoys so she’s not so lonely.
- I’m thankful for my dog, Rascal. He and I have hiked all sorts of trails this year and he really likes to be by my side as much as possible. He’s getting older, he’s got arthritis and various lumps growing on him. He’s had several health issues this year, and he doesn’t always feel like getting up. But Rascal can usually be found by my side. That is very special to me. Nobody loves me like my dog.
- I am thankful for the girls I work with at the home. Things can’t always be peaches and roses, but each of the girls is special to us. Several will be leaving very soon, and I know they are looking forward to moving on, but I will miss them and I am hopeful they will have pleasant memories of us.
- I am grateful for my health. I was diagnosed with MS quite a while back. My feet give me trouble once in a while, but I have been so fortunate. I’m no star athlete, but I am in shape enough to do the things that I want.
- I am grateful that I can now do the activities I really enjoy. I love hiking, horseback riding, photography, playing guitar, traveling, photography, and writing. It’s pretty hard to find adequate time for so many interest, but I am able to enjoy most of these now at least to some degree.
- Last but not least, I am grateful for the people in my life who care about me. I know I’m not the easiest person to get along with or be around. I have a tendency to run my mouth when I should just shut up. Then there are times when I get so depressed I won’t talk at all. I’m not easy to love. Still, there are at least a couple people who seem to want me around. It is these people who keep me going.