Tag Archive | giving thanks

It’s Time to Say Thank You

Every fourth Thursday of November, families gather around tables to share a special meal which usually involves turkey. This ONE day was declared a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln so Americans could give thanks for their their blessings. But in recent years, Thanksgiving has lost its punch because the holiday now finds itself buried under “Black Friday” shopping ads. Some stores even open on Thursday afternoon with their door buster sales. Am I  nuts to think this is nuts? Are we Americans really that eager to join throngs of frantic people rushing from store to store before the leftovers are even refrigerated?

Personally, I like to give each holiday its due. Face it, we only have one Easter, one 4th of July, one Memorial Day, one Labor Day, one Veteran’s Day and one Halloween per year. Why rush it all?

It seems holidays in general have become little more than a day off for over-worked employees, except of course, the poor people who have to work on the holidays because heaven forbid the stores might lose a couple of bucks in revenue if they shut their doors. Bah Humbug!

I’m old enough to remember when stores were NOT open on Sundays. We took twenty-four hours to just relax. If we needed a gallon of milk, well, we stocked up on Saturday or waited until Monday to refill the frig. Nobody died because we didn’t have enough milk. But that was before companies studied the 40-hour week and found it was more efficient to put people on 4-day work schedules for ten hours and rotate them during the rest of the month. Luckily, I didn’t ever have to work such crazy hours, but my daughter now does. And I tell you, she looks tired all of the time.

We also waited for every holiday and enjoyed the festivities connected with each. The world was slower than, and frankly, speeding up the pace of living has turned most of us into nervous wrecks. I jumped off that merry-go-round about seven years ago with a premature retirement and to tell you the truth, I haven’t missed the helter-skelter world at all.

I just think it isn’t too much to ask to take one day out of the year and make a point of looking at your life and finding things to be thankful for. I understand sometimes when the bottom has dropped out of your world, this task can be more challenging. We’ve all been there. But I suggest if you don’t go hungry, have a roof over your head, and don’t have to fear a bomb will hit your house, bow your head and say “Thanks.”

 

 

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When Darkness Falls, Let the Light In

incredible-storms

This morning, as all other mornings, I read the posts of some of my favorite bloggers. Candy Coated Reality by Renae is one of my most favorites. It’s a beautiful site filled with art along with articulate posts. She’s extraordinary. But today, she talked about suffering from depression. About the darkness. About wanting to sleep away the feeling of dread. Unfortunately, I knew what she was talking about.

It’s hard to admit you have depression because most people don’t understand it. They see it as sadness, but it’s so much more than that. It’s darkness that invades your life and sometimes your little flashlight of medication doesn’t shine through it. It just is.

My depression manifests itself in withdrawing. I don’t speak. I sit in like a lump in my chair and play Facebook games. I don’t even want to write when this happens to me. Lately, the money issue in my life has put me in such a place. Part of it is the chemicals in my brain, but the bigger part of it is feeling like such a failure.

I tell myself that my life is what I’ve made it. I do want to stay home and be here for Ken. He struggles so much everyday, you’d think he would have to fight depression—because he has it too. But in his case, he sees the world in a whole different way. He never complains because he says doing so would only make me feel bad. He never puts anyone down because he allows people to be just as they are. He somehow keeps himself in a world that is filled with light.

Yesterday some light came into my darkness. After the phone call about getting a lift chair for Ken, we both were invited out to lunch by my dear friend Joyce. We first had coffee at her beautiful little home, and then I drove us all to Nafi’s where we had a sandwich. When Ken went to the bathroom, she opened her purse, pulled out a wad of bills and said, “How much do you need?”

I knew she was going to help us, but her generosity overwhelmed me. I never guessed she would hand me one hundred dollars.

Again, God has provided. He does his special work through others, and Ken and I are testimony to His good works. Remember the ramp his aunts and uncles gave us? Remember Scott putting more work into it than he originally planned and then didn’t charge me? Remember Jackie and Kay giving me money so I could buy my books for a book signing? Remember Steve and Tara helping us with the overwhelming drug expense?  Remember Dad paying off my car when it was reposed by the finance company? Remember others who stand beside us and will drop what they are doing to be here for us –Dave and Terry, Heidi and Ray, Patrick and Linda, Jim and Cathy — the list goes on.

I do not practice organized religion, but I do believe a higher power intercedes when we’ve done all that we can do on our own. Time and time again, our friends and family have helped us out of jams Ken and I couldn’t fix ourselves.

I feel so humbled when all I can do for them is say, “Thank You.”