Nov 28, 2019
It was the best Thanksgiving ever, yet it never would have gotten your attention if you misjudged the occasion.
I was flying home one evening after a fun trip with other wingman. I was on very a short layover in Chicago when suddenly my phone rang. It was Janine, she said her father has asked to see us for the holiday. Amidst the tears and sobbing, I couldn’t make out all the words but I knew from her tone, it was urgent. We knew he was ill, but the news she received made it clear we needed to be there now.
I pulled out my laptop and began looking for flights first thing in the morning. The price prevented me from booking them and besides we didn’t really know how long we’d stay. Driving it is! I immediately booked a rental house about a block or so from her parents. The availability could only be explained as divine. In about 5 minutes the entire trip was planned, we would hit the road first thing in the morning but first I had to get home.
I boarded my flight from Chicago, landed safely, rushed home for a few hours of sleep and then dark and early we began the 16 hour drive. I don’t remember much of the drive. I just know we did it.
We pulled into our rental late in the evening. It was a nondescript beach house. It’s no place I’d ever consider buying and quite honestly wouldn’t consider staying there if the proximity wasn’t perfect. Yet more than the proximity being perfect, it allowed our last Thanksgiving as a family to be special.
We spent a couple fabulous days visiting and decided we’d host Thanksgiving, a few days early, from our temporary home. The cabinets had the most basic of amenities. The plates didn’t exactly match but no one cared. The table was crowded, just as it should be for a family as close as ours is. My Mom and Dad made the drive up and there the 7 us sat - giving Thanks for all God has provided. In fact it wasn’t even Thursday, yet none of us cared. They say home is where your heart is and for this week, our hearts were fully here.
This year, the empty place sitting at our table reminds me of what’s important. As we prepare to give thanks we now have to rely on our memories to fill the void. We will spend the day with tears talking about the past, giving thanks for the present and remaining hopeful for the future.
There are details I can’t remember from last year and 10 years from now, I’ll likely not remember even more of them. I don’t remember how many points I ate - I don’t even remember what I ate, but there will be things however I can never forget. That’s what this holiday season is about. It’s time to make memories, it’s time to live your best life. It’s time to celebrate with those you care about.
Enjoy today. Love like there’s no tomorrow but eat properly - confidently hopeful that there will be. Preserve your health - it’s the one gift you can give yourself that your friends and family can actually benefit from.
Give thanks to every person you interact with. They shape your journey, so reminding them how much they contribute is warranted. I’m incredibly blessed and grateful for our fellowship - Thank you for walking with me, and thank you for being my Wingman!
Make it a Great Thanksgiving!