Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving, 2008

Today is the day we here in the United States celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving. The details of the original Thanksgiving celebration are muddied by time, and the date of the first Thanksgiving is a subject of some debate; however, according to Wikipedia, the earliest attested Thanksgiving celebration was on September 8, 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida, while the traditional first Thanksgiving is said to have occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, Massachusetts, in 1621.

Those of you who have been my virtual friends for the last three years know that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, because it provides a day on which to reflect on all the things for which I don't give thanks often enough. The list is long, but high on it would be:

* The love and support of the world's greatest wife...

* A job.

* A nice home.

* Good friends, both online and in person.

* A marvelous family...

* And the world's smartest and most beautiful grandchildren...

In the course of busy days in which we never seem to have enough time or energy to reflect on the things that are really important, it's good to have one day that provides a chance to give thanks ... not for the physical things we may own, but for the matchless gifts of life, love, and friendship.

This poem has been in my collection for many years and its author is unknown, but it sums up the way I ought to feel every day, but really feel every Thanksgiving:

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve -
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for help, that I might do greater things -
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy -
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life -
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for,
But everything I had hoped for.

Despite myself, my prayers were answered.

I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

On this Thanksgiving, I wish each of you, my virtual friends, a safe and happy holiday filled with reflection on the things for which you can be thankful. Eat the turkey, lick the gravy from your fingers, watch the football games and the parades, and share the day with those you love. And if you're not living someplace where Thanksgiving is observed, take a moment with me to reflect on life's blessings.

It's only once a year, after all. And you'll feel better.

Happy Thanksgiving! More thoughts on the way...



John said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Agnes and all of your family!

Amanda said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Those are beautiful family photos. I have to convince my family to take some proper ones soon!

KKTSews said...

Family photos from the recent early Thanksgiving? Great job!

Grace laments that most people use Thanksgiving to just pig out; nice to see you're focusing on the real meaning behind setting aside a day for this.

Enjoy all things and find those silver linings!

Mike said...

Happy Thanksgiving back to you and all yours.

It was strange reading the poem. Claudia and I went to a service last night and the sermon was the exact same theme. (play music from twilight zone here)

fiona said...

Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for sharing these wonderful family photographs. The poem has given me cause for contemplation and for that I also thank you.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

What a beautiful family you have and that poem is lovely. Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one :)