Rea­son to be thank­ful

The Covington News - - OPINION -

Thanks­giv­ing Day in 1995 was a bit dif­fer­ent.

My brother and his fam­ily were else­where, my daugh­ter was with her mother, and it was just me and Mama.

“ I can bake a small hen,” Mama said.

But Thanks­giv­ing for two didn’t seem like it was worth all that ef­fort. So, af­ter a bit of per­suad­ing, I con­vinced Mama to go out for Thanks­giv­ing. We went to the Hol­i­day Inn in Athens.

Turns out, we re­ally en­joyed it. I think more than any­thing else, we en­joyed not hav­ing a bunch of dirty dishes or left­overs.

A year later on Thanks­giv­ing, Mama was breath­ing with the help of a ven­ti­la­tor and two weeks later, she was gone.

I don’t re­mem­ber any­thing about that Thanks­giv­ing meal and the hol­i­day sea­son that fol­lowed was not much to write home about. Frankly, there was no­body at home to write to.

There are some peo­ple who get great joy about fix­ing all the stuff we en­joy at Thanks­giv­ing. There are oth­ers who seem to get all worked up about it. I spent Thanks­giv­ing with both types, and if I can’t be with the first type, I’d rather eat

“I’m thank­ful all right. I’m thank­ful that God has given us one more Thanks­giv­ing. It might not be the one

I was ask­ing for, but I’ll take it with

grat­i­tude.”

at Waf­fle House.

In other words, Thanks­giv­ing should not be a time of dread and panic, but a time of joy.

I’m a bit fear­ful about this Thanks­giv­ing be­cause good or bad, it will be a mem­o­rable one. I’m go­ing to my brother’s house, and un­less we get an in­cred­i­ble mir­a­cle, this will be his last Thanks­giv­ing.

Af­ter 21 months and lots of chemo­ther­apy, ra­di­a­tion and var­i­ous drugs, a brain tu­mor is win­ning the bat­tle. It’s been a tug of war and at times, it seemed like my brother was win­ning.

But that tu­mor, which started out the size of a ten­nis ball, seems to have cap­tured game, set and match in this con­test for life.

What’s crazy is that his body is ac­tu­ally fine. It’s the kind of tu­mor that only re­sides in the brain. But now, the mes­sages of stand up and walk don’t reach their in­tended des­ti­na­tion and his abil­ity to re­mem­ber is fad­ing.

It is not the same per­son who just a year ago en­joyed Thanks­giv­ing at a beach front home in South Carolina and af­ter eat­ing en­joyed a walk be­side the ocean.

But this time, I will watch and fight back tears as my only sib­ling, just 51, goes through the twi­light of his life.

I’m thank­ful all right. I’m thank­ful that God has given us one more Thanks­giv­ing. It might not be the one I was ask­ing for, but I’ll take it with grat­i­tude.

The job of voic­ing the prayer to God for our bless­ings may fall to me. Like a lot of peo­ple, we tend to thank the Lord for the bless­ings of the past year and ask him to bless us in the year to come.

This year, more than any other, I’m thank­ful for the here and now. For the mo­ment we drink in and try to keep a lit­tle left over to fill our cup full of mem­o­ries.

It might not be the me­mory we wanted, but I’m grate­ful none­the­less.

And oh yes, I’m not for­get­ting that the one we thank is in the mir­a­cle busi­ness.

So, if you don’t mind ask­ing, put in a good word with your thanks for turkey and dress­ing to ask the Lord to send one of those mir­a­cles our way.

I’ll be for­ever thank­ful if you do.

Har­ris Black­wood

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