Thanksgiving Revisited

The turkey I stuffed this morning stuffed me this afternoon.

I lean back in the armchair and take a break from my reading of Dickens’s Bleak House and massage my stomach.

I contemplate the contrast between my childhood and the existence that Mrs. Jellyby’s ragged children endure.

Lucky for me to be born to parents whose eyes are fixed, not on the natives of Africa as are Mrs. Jellyby’s, but on me.

Thanksgiving is the anniversary of the day I learned to be truly thankful, and for a few moments I contemplate all that I have to be grateful for. I am fortunate to possess a family of my own. With all that is decently human within me, I will value their needs above mine. This is a legacy that my parents bequeathed to me and It’s one I’ll entrust to my children.

I love my wife and children and they love me back; It’s a splendid equation that doesn’t require any mathematical talent to prove. I know that this sort of love is freely given and that no matter what my moods or failures, the gift remains.

Yet there’s so much more to be thankful for. I’m thrilled to be able to pursue a career and further my education by working and studying at home. I want to be mindful that for many it’s a dream. I’m privileged to live my dream.
Above all, I’m alive. Life itself is a gift to be cherished.

However, the Death Clock never stops ticking. As of this writing I have 929,620,615 seconds left to me.

Nevertheless, time eludes quantification. Whether or not I live my allotted seconds is a matter of chance. Perhaps, several years from now, I’ll die surrounded by family and friends. Then again, this may be my last day or minute or second. Death is a mystery, but It’s a mystery we are all destined to eventually solve.

Ten years ago, I anticipated the Death Clock‘s last chime. I entered the hospital on what was to be a one-way journey, but exited several weeks later on a Thanksgiving holiday. Every Thanksgiving weekend, I recall that joyful journey home; It’s a lesson in gratitude that I’ll not forget.

That’s why this Thanksgiving Day, I lean back in my armchair and remember why I live a life of thanks. I do so because of the numerous wonders that surround me and for all those yet to come.