I looked at the calendar this morning and marveled. November with its gifts of bright leaves, baked beans and bowls of crisp colorful apples had arrived. For a moment time stood still as memories of happier times brought back memories of past Thanksgivings. I even smiled as I remembered noticing our old journal book tucked in a corner of the bookcase.
It was still there; I pulled it out, blew off the dust and opened it. For a number of years our family had captured memories on its pages with family members and friends writing down what they were thankful for each Thanksgiving day in that flower covered journal. We'd entitled it “Our 'Thankful' Book” first dated November 26, 1998, Thanksgiving Day.
Family members and friends who were present, but have since gone on to heaven, had left words to touch my heart. My husband Bud's youngest brother made me smile “Every day above ground is a good day any more. All of the family is a blessing to me,” Joe C. Gibson. The Following year he wrote: “I'm still here and am amazed as ever, and as thankful.” From Bud's sister, much loved aunt and my faithful friend, “I'm thanking God for all the family. For the fun and humor,” Aunt Peggy.
My own dear mother whom I cared for the last year of her life left these memorable words: “I am thankful for family, all so different. I'm thankful for the bubbling ones, for the quiet serious ones. For the little ones, too. May we all grow closer to the Lord where ever we're at in our lives right now.” She signed her name, Gramma Jenny. Then she added, “Most of all I'm thankful that I belong to the Lord. May we all be together in Heaven to praise You forever.”
My own entry, this one on 11/22/01: “A lovely sweet spirit was present here today—I think it was the presence of the Lord. So much to be thankful for . . . Dow's thanks and his being able to eat a whole plateful of food . . .”
It was to be our son Dow's last thanksgiving on this earth, but we still remember. Those who've gone before have left heart prints across our lives, which continue to remind us of thanksgiving, hope, praise and love. As you celebrate Thanksgiving, treasure each moment with those you love--those precious moments are fleeting.
There are times I sorely miss those who are no longer with us--remembering rollicking Thanksgivings of the past. Sorrow breaks my heart and tears flow down my cheeks. Then I read the Psalms, "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:4, 5 “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High.” Psalm 92:1 (KJV)
And I smile through my tears.