Being Thankful

Ever have those times where you are so simply and perfectly happy, that you try to hold the moment in your head and your heart as if it were a photograph? Memories that can be pulled out, dusted off and reviewed when things are painful or difficult are important?

While I hate medical diagnoses, I think sometimes that’s what it takes to make us truly appreciate the life that goes on around us. When you realize that our time is finite . . . . I guess what I’m thinking is that some of the things we THINK are the most important are really not that important, and the things we take for granted are some of the MOST important.

Take for instance — weddings. People spend thousands of dollars on the reception, the honeymoon, flowers, the dress. Months are devoted to planning the venue, the wedding party and the menu. Is it the ceremony that is so important, or is the years that follow — making memories as a couple? There is usually photographic evidence of the ceremony as well as the license and of course the rings. But those moments that are precious — stepping into the first home, celebrations of personal milestones, arguments and make-ups, or just moments of pure happiness — those are the things that are really important.

Graduations are just as bad — ceremonies, photos, diplomas, parties. Not that the accomplishment isn’t important. The work is generally difficult and time-consuming. The certificate and/or honors are well-deserved. Of greater importance is the aftermath — doing something with what was learned. What is the point of obtaining greater knowledge if we accept the diploma and then stop?

The holidays in our household aren’t always traditional. Sometimes we are with family, others we aren’t – it may just be me, or me and one of the kids, or all of us in one place. Regardless, it is a time to make memories. Some of my best memories of Thanksgiving are the years that we were invited to go to our pastor’s house. They had this huge, beautiful old Victorian farmhouse (maybe that’s when I fell in love with old houses). It was one of the few times that I can recall being in a crowd of people and not feeling as if I were drowning or as if I were an alien out of place among strangers. Thinking about it more in depth right now, I think it was the house that played the main character in my memories more than the people or even the food.

I don’t know when my finite time clock of life will run out, but I sure as hell know that when I go, it will be with a head chock full of memories that make me smile.

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