When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of myself as a young boy, watching the Thanksgiving
parade on television; mom busy in the kitchen preparing our Thanksgiving dinner and the
feeling of love all around. I remember a gray, cold and cloudy day; the steamy windows
that cooking made and snowflakes in the air. This was my best Thanksgiving ever. I was 9
years old. It would become the Thanksgiving Day to which all other Thanksgiving Days would
be compared. It was also to be my mom's last Thanksgiving, although none of us knew it
In my memory I can see my dad in
his chair, reading the newspaper, my sister, all of seven years old, helping mom in the
kitchen, and me in my innocence, unaware of what precious memories were unfolding. And as
I remembered that Thanksgiving Day, I felt the warmth of the love that only family can
provide. Life was so simple then. My entire world consisted of a very small house, on a
very quiet street, in a very peaceful little town on the shores of Lake Erie. It was all I
needed then; everything perfect in that little house on Thanksgiving Day, now so long ago
and so far away.
One year later my world would be
turned upside down and it would never quite be the same again. Mom died just a few days
before Thanksgiving the very next year.
Those memories are decades old now. Yet, I compare every Thanksgiving to that magical and
perfect one. It's funny how some events in your life make an indelible mark on your memory
that doesn't fade no matter how much time passes. And, it's always the things that do not
seem so important when you're experiencing them that often turn out to be the ones you
remember most. It seems to me that the most precious memories are not planned, they just
I'm not sure I will ever have a Thanksgiving like that one again. Maybe because that day
has been honed in my memory so long it seems better now that it actually was. But, I'm
thankful that I have that memory because I can relive that special Thanksgiving every
year. I can feel the love and the warmth. Although, it is said that you cannot bring back
what is gone, I disagree: It comes again each year at this time and I feel the warmth and
love of that memory. It is one of the things that I am most thankful for. I hope that my
children will look back someday and feel the same about a day that I have given them.
Special moments happen; you cannot plan them.
I bet most of you have memories like mine. That ever-so-slight pause in "the
now" that allows you to drift back to a time long ago when the world was a little
quieter, life a little simpler, and everything a little more innocent and perfect. Allow
yourself to experience the evanescent yet wonderful pleasure of it. I think that the
Holiday Season is the best time for reliving the most precious memories and for making new
In today's world where a person's
worth is apparently measured by his or her wealth, not one of the things for which I am
most thankful is material. It is not the cars, houses, boats, stocks, bonds, computers, in
fact it is not the "things" I have at all. The truth is: It is those fleeting
moments, those fragments of dreams, those passing glimmers of hope, the lasting love of
family and friends and those priceless golden memories that are my most precious
It seems to me so very strange that we spend most of our lives in pursuit of
"things". Indeed, we work most of our lives to acquire them. We spend time away
from our loved ones working, making ends meet, and seeking to achieve some glorious
financial success however elusive it may be. It is ironic that wealth cannot buy a single
one of the most valuable things. And, how terribly sad that some never learn that simple,
elegant and lasting truth.
Anyone can accumulate
"things", but until and unless you have acquired the real treasures in life, the
love of family, friends, and beautiful memories of special moments, you really have
nothing at all.
This Thanksgiving be thankful for the things that you do have and be most thankful for the
things which money cannot buy, for they are the most valuable "things" of all.
We hope all of you make many
beautiful new memories this year. Remember that the most special memories will be the ones
that were not planned. We wish you all a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.
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