Giving Thanks

I started to feel sorry for myself today. Because of the snow in North Dakota and my stupid rear-wheel drive car, I won’t be able to see my family on Thanksgiving Day. I cried a little.

And then I sat up and said to myself (it’s easy to talk to yourself when you’re snowbound for a week or more at a time), “Self – so many don’t have their families near them or with them, and so many have no family at all.”

I started to pray for everyone’s safety – not just my own family and friends here in Minot, ND, but for everyone everywhere – for my family in Delaware and Virginia and for my non-blood family in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, New Hampshire, Maine, Guam, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, England, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

And even though I’m crying more now, I feel better. I’ve survived hurricanes and floods, near-homelessness, the family court system, separations and reunions. I’ve been able to watch my only child grow from a baby to little boy to pre-teen to young man to grown man – to father. I’ve watched as he made his first tentative baby steps and then watched as he marched (weapon in hand) on green Pennsylvania fields. I’ve watched as he led a group of recruits along a track in San Antonio, Texas, as guidon for his graduating Air Force class. I’ve watched as he met, courted, and married his beautiful bride.
I was separated from my son for so many years because of vindictive, ugly people, and the courts. But now that’s all just faded memories. My life has been bliss for more than ten years – my renewed relationship with my son, getting to know his beautiful wife and loving her as a best friend, being there when my grandsons were born, and becoming the MoMo.

Though hindered by snow and frigid temperatures now, I know that the warmth of HAVING family and wonderful memories of family and dear friends that have moved on to heaven and family and friends that may be thousands of miles away – I’m one of the luckiest people on the face of God’s earth.

I wish you much love, family, friends, and fulfillment. May all your Thanksgiving wishes come true.

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