I let my mind wander to days where wondrous smells permeated the air of our home. Children enjoying the break from school. Work was far from my mind. Soft arms encircling my waist as a head lay on my shoulder… whispering words of love.

I remember the dinners. Early on, meals prepared with insecure hopes it would come out right. Smiling at figuring out the traditions taking shape. Remembering the times when I was told how great it was to look back on the struggles of life that brought us closer.

In this I give thanks to my Lord.

This year has been filled with good and bad like many years before. Both for me and for those I love. But it is “life.” Being lived to the fullest… before I head home. “Home” being that place where rest is with the father of us all. For those who choose to recognize His majesty.

My Thanksgiving Message

There is a passage that reads; “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it is to be received with thanksgiving.” 1 Timothy 4:4 (KJV)

We cannot always control the things in which we seek to make our lives better — as we see it.

Someone still close to my heart used to say; “It will be better when things get back to normal.” “Normal” is often not how we wish to define it. It sometimes is based upon what we “need” to test our metal. Dealing with those times that (then) seemed so hard to bear. Times of leaning on another to make it through. Expressing hopes and dreams… shared without fear of rejection.

Normal is the realizing how precious is to be held. To be loved. Sometimes, being told you are loved when you know it isn’t true. But something needed… just to make it through.

Years ago I enjoyed playing tunes on the piano. Though I had been self-conscious of attempting to do so again, I spent two months practising when my family wasn’t around. A simple Christmas song I had planned to play Christmas Day. Just for them. But, I did not play that Christmas. Nor any since.

That year I was told how proud someone was of me. Proud for doing something contrary to my own code of honor. There was no excuse. There was a reason. For good or for bad. In the end I may be excused. But for the sake of protecting those I loved, my life would forever be changed. Even though I was asked to do so. For that, I am left with golden memories.

I thank you, Lord. For the joys granted as grace, enabling me to retain a love that will always remain.

It doesn’t seem enough to thank you for the women in my life. My children. Grandchildren I have never seen. Nor granted knowing their names. Whether I understand or not. Whether I agree with the choices of others. They are a part of me — and will always be cherished.

I thank my parents. For teaching strength through their personal trials. Teaching me to pray for those who wish me harm, as well as dear friends. For teaching me to stand tall as the man I am today.

As the holidays have come, our attitudes change. Our thoughts go out to those in need. Our fellow brothers and sisters. Even those we have never met. Knowing I may once again have days where aromas, touches, and kind words of those I love return. Those who return my love.

Until then, I thank you, Lord. For at your bosom, I have rested. Yet not having my talents buried up. Seeking guidance by your firm hand. Without fail.

To you who look in on me from time to time, thank you. Bless you. For this is my catharsis. My ability to express things I believed must be kept to myself for so many years.

May the Lord bless you and your family this holiday season. May your life be full of magical moments. Even if all that remains are memories. For these are the legacy you will ultimately leave behind… the good that eclipses the bad… I pray.