Posted by: Beth | November 25, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving

I want it to be a happy holiday.  I do.  Really. And honestly, the last few weeks I have felt better physically and been more jovial than I have in months – or years!  So many things to be thankful for.

Yet, my heart is weighed down with sadness.  I don’t know if more people in our community have died the past few months than usual, or if I’ve just known more of them.  Young people were killed in car accidents, some leaving parents and children.  Middle-aged people who struggled with chronic illness left behind parents and children.  Older folks who were more than ready to meet their maker left families who were simultaneously glad the pain was over and lonely and sad about the empty place at the table.  And whenever I learn of another parent who has buried a child, I feel a little of their grief and emptiness.   And then there’s the folks who are literally on their deathbed, with vigilant family watching over them.

Those things are in our community.  You know the national and international news – probably better than I do.  That’s enough to make you crazy or grief-stricken or something bad I don’t even know a name for.

And yesterday was just A DAY I don’t particularly want to repeat.  No one terrible thing, just a string of unpleasantness.  And on Thanksgiving Eve, at that.

Yet, there is hope.  There can be happiness.  Wherever there is Jesus, there is hope.  Where there is hope, there is some (maybe just a tiny bit) of strength to go on.  Where there is strength, you can put one foot in front of the other, or maybe pick up a phone.  When you can reach out to someone else, something mysteriously wonderful happens.  There is more strength.  There may even be a shared memory and a smile.  On very blessed days there is laughter.

And then, a bit of guilt kicks in.  How can I dare be happy when someone I really care about is no longer here?  Or will be here on this earth just a short while?  Because we can.  Because we must.  Because, whether we like it or not, death is a part of life.  Grief must be dealt with, and every one of us does it a little differently, and that is okay. 

So, on this Thanksgiving Day, if tears fall down your cheeks, let them fall.  If in spite of your pain, you smile and laugh, good for you!  Laughter is good medicine, and we all need some goodness in our lives.  If it happens that you’re having a pleasant day filled with family and good times, enjoy!  There is a time for everything.  Occasionally our heart times match up with the calendar.

Wherever you are in your journey, may you find some warmth and friendship this holiday season.


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