Thursday, November 27, 2008
The words which follow are not mine. Nor is the world they describe. But, whether Thanksgiving or Christmas or simply thinking of life. They speak.
November 27, 2008
I’m sitting outside enjoying a beautiful Florida day, the likes of which can only be found here on the Edge of America in November.
As a very gentle breeze blows, I’m looking from my front porch at a tree-lined street winding through an upper-middle-class neighborhood. It’s been rough in this neighborhood this year; the house across the street is in the process of being short-sold, for roughly the price that was paid for it new in 1992. Others have lost jobs, or may soon be about to lose their jobs. Still others are in the military, facing yet another deployment to a place that doesn’t really want us there.
Inside our house, I can hear the voice of a little girl who, 24 hours ago, was in the final stages of receiving her weekly dose of poison. The poison is served up to her by a woman dressed in protective clothing, so she doesn’t get any of it on herself. The poison normally renders her tired and groggy and stomach-achey on Thursdays. Not this Thursday, though; the Young Daughter always rises to whatever the occasion is, and Thanksgiving, of course, is an Occasion with a capital “O.” She’s her mama’s little girl, in just about every way, and especially in the way that respects special occasions and traditions. She’s happy it’s Thanksgiving, and she wants to make sure everyone within earshot knows it.
The woman who works three full-time jobs and gets paid for none of them is washing off her morning, spent in the kitchen as it is every fourth Thursday in November, as we get ready to go visit some dear friends to share the holiday. This was going to be the year she hopped back on the career train. Instead, she was handed a different set of orders. She’s now deployed as a four-star general in the Army of Love, making sure everybody else around her gets what he or she needs. To say our lives depend on her is not an understatement, not in the least.
Then there’s me; I only have one full-time job, and I’m happy to still have it. Several people who were my co-workers three weeks ago aren’t anymore. Several others with whom I’ve worked at customer sites have been dealt a similar rotten hand. Financial plans and goals that seemed pretty solid this time last year have changed dramatically. “Long term” is now being measured in weeks and months rather than years and decades.
If we wanted to be unhappy, we certainly have more justification than we’ve ever had in our lives. But we aren’t, and we won’t be. There are too many reasons to be thankful and proud, and those reasons shine brightly enough to block out the things that cause pain and sadness. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re one of those reasons. The love and support that you’ve shown us is more than we’ll ever be able to repay. But that won’t stop us from trying.
It’s a beautiful November day down here on the Edge of America, and we’re together here to enjoy and appreciate it. So we’re going to do so. Blessings are all around us, and it’s our sincere hope that the same is true for you and yours.
That is his today’s post in entirety. I didn’t ask permission, following attributal customs. I didn’t think a simple link was worthy.
From the reaches,