On this Thanksgiving, I want to wish all of my friends and family a day filled with thankfulness, joy and happiness, peace and fellowship, family, friends, togetherness. What is one of those I have mentioned without the others? And love. What are any of those I have mentioned without love. And forgiveness. To love is to forgive. To forgive is to love.
I have so much for which I am thankful. My life is full of blessings, blessings I sometimes feel I have not earned, blessings I do not deserve. I ask, why me? Why am I so blessed? Why do I not want anything? Why am I able to walk around all day with a silly smile on my face and a song in my heart when so many others are sad and walk with heavy hearts? I don’t remember making a conscious decision to be happy and smile and keep a song in my heart. Maybe I should not dig too deep for an answer – never look a gift horse in the mouth, right? Maybe I should just enjoy my happiness and keep smiling. People will wonder if I am up to something.
My heart is close to bursting every day with the joy I feel. Not just joy at being alive, but joy at the beauty and wonder in the world about me. But, just like other folks, I have days when I feel melancholy, when I feel no one loves me. Days when I just want to kick a toolbox, slam a door, throw myself down in a corner and sulk, feel sorry for myself. Thankfully, those days are extremely rare. Thankfully, I have family and friends who care about me, who pick me up, caress me, and tell me I am loved, tell me they miss my smile and my song-filled heart. I guess that’s all any of us really needs: to be picked up when we’re down, caressed, and told that we are loved.
I am thankful for my life, and for the person I have become, for the blessings I have received. I am thankful for each one of my friends and for their love and friendship. I am thankful for my family and the love of my wife and sisters. I am thankful for the job I have and the work I do. I am thankful for the freedoms I have, and for the people who fought and gave their lives to secure them. I am thankful for the men and women who work today to preserve those freedoms. I am thankful for our public servants, police and firemen and others who put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect; theirs is a difficult and often thankless job. I am thankful for my health and happiness. I am thankful that I have food on the table and clothes on my back. I am thankful that I earn enough and can share my wages with those less fortunate than I.
I am thankful that I have the gift of writing and am able to pour my heart out in words and share myself with others. I am thankful when I am able to touch one other person’s heart through my words. I am thankful that I have a childlike spirit of wonder at the world around me, and a sense for its beauty and magic, and that I can shed a tear at the wonder and beauty and magic and not feel embarrassed.
I am thankful when my heart swells with joy at a blue sky, a snowcapped mountain, a butterfly, my dogs playing in the yard, the smell of the damp forest path beneath my hiking boots, the night sky spread out above and beyond me. I am thankful for the confidence of others and for the trust they place in me. I am so thankful, and I am so blessed.