In the United States we annually celebrate
Thanksgiving. Starting in 1621 the pilgrims
shared a feast with the locals in celebration
of their harvest. Strange people in a strange
land, they were in truth simply immigrants.
Rather than receiving a hostile reception,
the natives taught them survival techniques
for their bold new lives. And dishing it back
was the Pilgrim's way of saying "thank you."
All of which causes me to ponder the idea
that many Americans view immigrants as
evil intruders rather than another influx of
what has made our country so successful.
However, I digress. In the spirit of the prior
day's festivities I want to focus on all that
I'm thankful for. Normally that tends to be
a rather easy exercise but this year I struggle
with sifting through my political angst and
turmoil to find something to be grateful for.
Then suddenly I realized how wrong I was.
The fact is I've been blessed in ways I can't
even begin to describe. Most of which have
little to nothing to do with external forces.
While obviously impacted by others, most
of what I'm thankful remains very close to
me. And will always, wherever I go...
Love conquers all
Someone said "love is a many splendored
thing." If one thinks of the most primal of
urges, one can't help but be amazed at it's
power. One capricious day I happened to
meet Frank. Since then, our relationship
has matured to a point where it might be
easy to take it for granted. But then I look
at him. Usually it's just a random glimpse
across the room. And suddenly I'm awash
with an amazing flood of feelings that are
stronger than ever. In that moment I know
that he is mine and I am his. Whatever
happens, I'm thankful we have each other.
Heart to heart
One can't speak of love and not mention
one's offspring. Whatever has happened
since they were born, they'll always be
a part of me. Our genetic and emotional
link can't be easily described. Now adults,
three out of the four have children of their
own. Sadly, I maintain daily contact with
just half of my kids as I'm estranged from
the others. I can't explain why things like
that happen but embrace their right to do
as they see fit. That said, no matter what
happens I'm grateful that each of my tots
holds a very special place in my heart.
I thank God daily for my parents. They
willingly took me as their own. Now long
gone, their love remains strong enough to
lead me through any of life's challenges.
I'm equally indebted to the families who
embraced me via marriage. Both of Frank's
parents treated me like a son long before it
was legal. His siblings and their families
give us acceptance, love, and joy. Hence
one thing is certain. No matter what may
happen they will be there. Which is not
only quite humbling but also gloriously
affirming. Blest be the tie that binds...
True friends, one's kindred souls are life's
greatest gifts. I'm blessed to have a small
circle of those who know and love me for
who I am. My longest and best friend "T"
has been with me through good and bad
times. Throughout most of our lives we
supported each other no matter the odds.
Acquaintances come and go. But true soul
mates remain with you even if you rarely
speak, write, or see each other. Knowing
these fellow travelers will accompany me
everywhere I go in spirit is something I'm
eternally grateful for. Friends forever!
Not a nature boy I'm still thankful for the
glorious terrain of central Montana. Here
in Lewistown one can see mountains all
around. Yet this isn't the only beautiful
place I've been blessed to live in. I shall
never forget each amazing dawn upon
Lake Michigan. I still recall the summer
morning air flowing via the windows of
our house on Mount Tabor Road. As I
also remember watching the snow fall
upon the spire of 5th Avenue Presbyterian
from our apartment on 55th. Ultimately
it's all about one's perspective isn't it?!
In tenuous times it could be easy to forget
all of the above. Memories are if nothing
else elusive or are they? Recently I viewed
an incredibly touching documentary about
Gloria Vanderbilt. Aged ninety two, she's
lived a lovely yet melancholic existence.
If nothing else her journey continues. At
one point she quoted William Faulkner.
"The past isn't over. It's not even past."
I too constantly replay seminal events and
random moments of my life in my head.
Thus I end this blog by quoting Bob Hope.
"THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!"