FIT@50 / Week 89: Thanks, Thanksgiving
Earlier this week I’d posted a question about fried or baked. I received plenty of comments that not only left me hungry, but realizing there are many more ways for preparing a turkey.
The next day I asked if you could have anyone – past, present or future join you for Thanksgiving, who would it be. I first expected to get answers like George Washington, Jesus, and Tom Brady.
Instead, the outpouring was so emotional, I once considered removing the question from my feed. Then I considered that everyone was only expressing what they felt most deeply in their hearts.
Deceased and estranged parents, siblings, spouses, children, in-laws, grandparents, friends and loved ones lost way too early or who had grown way too old.
It first felt like a punch in the chest as I read every one of the responses. I thought about my mom who I would’ve loved to have met Leah and Max. Next I thought about my dad who passed in September, who had it not been for the ravages of dementia, would’ve loved knowing Leah better and enjoying a little more time with Max.
Then the wrenching of my feelings turned to empathy for all of us who’ve lost uniquely special people in their lives. People who enriched us if by only their mere presence, and not by their bold actions.
I was reminded by so many answers that a deeper lost was felt for those unknown, never known or passed without passing paths. The spouses who never met their in-law, or the adult whose grandparent died long before they were conceived.
Greater still were the wishes of spending a day of thanks with angels miscarried, aborted or taken back into the merciful arms of Christ before reaching an age of accountability.
It was a humbling day of thankfulness, but for so many like myself, it’s also a day of re-mourning, regret, wishful wishes and realizations of never will be’s. But, by the grace of God, it is well with my soul, as I trust it is with yours.
I don’t regret asking that simple question, and I do rejoice in the responses, who instead of harboring the sadness of loss or missing, chose to share not only their replies, but their memories with everyone else. Isn’t that one of the most wonderful ways of ensuring they actually did spend the day with you?
This Thanksgiving was a bit different for Leah & I, but what looked like a doomed day inside a cross-country airplane ride, ended with leftovers at family and one excited Max. For that, I am also thankful. So here’s to getting through the day with a grin to end the night.