My Best Thanksgiving
This year, with the pandemic raging across our country, many of us are choosing to forego our traditional Thanksgiving gatherings while others are altering their usual Thanksgiving plans.
I like to think if we all can get our families safely through this Thanksgiving, next year we all be thankful for being careful this year. And next Thanksgiving may well be one the best Thanksgivings ever. Sometimes you don’t miss what you have until it’s gone…
This Thanksgiving, I’d like to tell you about my best Thanksgiving ever…it is one that has lived in my memory for decades.
My Best Thanksgiving
When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of myself as a young boy, watching the Thanksgiving parade on television, my mom busy in the kitchen preparing our Thanksgiving dinner, and the feeling of love all around.
I was nine years old. I remember a gray, cold, and cloudy day. I remember the steamy windows that cooking made. I remember big swirling snowflakes in the air. It is Thanksgiving Day, and it would be my best Thanksgiving Day ever.
It would be THE Thanksgiving Day to which I would compare all future Thanksgiving days.
And it was also to be my mom’s last Thanksgiving, although I didn’t know that then.
I can still see my dad in his chair, reading the morning newspaper, my sister, all of seven years old, helping my mom in the kitchen. And I can see myself, in my innocence, unaware of the precious memories that were unfolding.
And as I remember that Thanksgiving Day, I feel the warmth of the love that only family can provide.
Life seemed so simple then. My entire world consisted of a tiny house, on a quiet street, in a very peaceful village on the shores of Lake Erie.
It was my world, and it was all I needed then. And everything seemed perfect in the small house on Thanksgiving Day… so long ago and so far away.
I did not know then that just over one year later my world would be turned upside down and my world would never be the same again.
My mom died just a few days before Thanksgiving the very next year.
Those haunting memories are decades old now. Yet, I still compare every Thanksgiving Day to that magical and perfect one. I
It’s funny how some events in your life make an indelible mark on your memory and that memory doesn’t fade no matter how much time passes… or how old you get.
And it’s quite often the things that do not seem so important when you’re experiencing them that turn out to be the ones you remember most. It seems to me that the most precious memories are the ones that are not planned, it’s ones that just happen.
I’m not sure I will ever have a Thanksgiving like that one again. Maybe because that Thanksgiving Day has been implanted in my memory so long, perhaps it just seems better now than it really was.
Regardless, I’m thankful that I have that memory inside me because I now can relive that special Thanksgiving Day every year. I can feel the love and warmth of family even though all of them are gone save for me.
Although it is said that you cannot bring back what is gone, I disagree. It comes again each year at Thanksgiving time, and I feel the warmth and love of that memory. And so, it is one of the things that I am most thankful for.
I hope that my children will look back someday and feel the same about a day that I have shared with them.
Sometimes the most special moments happen… you just can’t plan them.
I think most of you have memories like mine. That ever-so-slight pause in “the now” that allows you to drift back to a time long ago when the world was a little quieter, life a little simpler, and everything a little more innocent and a little bit more perfect.
I hope you allow yourself to experience the evanescent yet wonderful pleasure of a pleasant memory. The Holiday Season is a wonderful time for reliving your most precious memories. And t’s also the perfect time for making new ones.
In today’s world where a person’s worth seems to be measured by his or her wealth, not even one of the things for which I am most thankful is material. It is not cars, houses, boats, stocks, bonds, computers, money, or any tangible thing. The truth is: It is those fleeting moments, those fragments of dreams, those passing glimmers of hope, the lasting love of family and friends, and priceless memories that are my most precious treasures.
It seems to me so very strange that we spend most of our lives in pursuit of “things”. Indeed, we work most of our lives to acquire them. We spend time away from our loved ones working, making ends meet, and seeking to achieve financial success however elusive it may be. But isn’t it ironic that wealth cannot buy not even one of the most valuable things?
Anyone can accumulate “things”, but until and unless you have acquired the real treasures in life, the love of family, friends, and beautiful memories — you really have nothing at all.
This Thanksgiving I hope you will be thankful for the things that money cannot buy and which no one can ever take from you, for they are the most valuable “things” of all.
And remember too, that some of the most special memories you will ever make will be the ones that were never planned.
And in this crazy year, we should all remember, no matter how we plan to spend this Thanksgiving, that we all have plenty to be thankful for.
Be careful. Be safe. Happy Thanksgiving!