Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. He would have been 92 years old. Today is my grandfather’s birthday. I remember him well, but not the day he died or how old he would have been today. And next Thursday, of course, is Thanksgiving, the day we dedicate to giving thanks for our blessings. The day that reminds us to make a conscious effort to be grateful for everything we have in our lives.

I’d like to suggest that we also take time to appreciate everything we had in our lives, even if they’re no longer here. Loved ones who have passed away. Friendships we once held dear. Hobbies that entertained us, vacations that delighted us, goals that challenged us. All of these are treasures from our past, whether or not they’re still in our lives.

This may seem like an exercise that would bring us more sadness than joy – looking to the past instead of the future, and calling to mind people we’ve loved and lost, relationships that have faded away, or activities that no longer interest us. But I think that if we focus our attention on gratitude and thanksgiving, we’ll find that our thoughts and memories bring us feelings of enrichment and peace, rather than loss or remorse. We’ll relive our appreciation for their presence in our lives, no matter how long it’s been since then. And we’ll see – and can give thanks for – their influence on who, what, and where we are today.

I plan to take some time on Thanksgiving morning to do this. Although I’m sure I will feel a slight tug of wistfulness, nostalgia, and perhaps regret, I know I will also gain an expanded vision of everything I have in my life – or have ever had in my life – to be thankful for.

I want to wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving.
And Happy Birthday to Grandpa and Dad.

November 22, 2019
©Betty Liedtke, 2019

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