I may not know so much about Thanksgiving. I have used silly phrases such as, “I don’t feel very thankful.” And “Here it goes again.”
I think that the most thankful people feel it the least tonight and tomorrow.
The ones that have been travelling for fifteen hours and may not make it past cancelled flights and road crews trying to keep up with falling sleet, ice and snow. They know.
The men and women in uniform who may feel only a tear or a lump in their throat at the thought of Thanksgiving, and still go out on patrol; walk out and preflight their very cold aircraft; or stare at the prosthesis that may as well be Mt. Everest as far as ease of use. They know more about thanksgiving than I do.
The same is true for First Responders, Emergency Room doctors and nurses, who grabbed a bit of the terrible turkey at the Station House or Cafeteria with luke warm coffee. They know more about Thanksgiving and what it truly costs, than I do.
The Pilgrims had buried a staggering number of their own in that first year and winter. They had their noses rubbed in their mistakes, missed opportunities, and “if only I had” bashings. So scheduling the feast with the Indians, their only neighbors, took courage. It has always been a holiday that looks beyond the cemetery, with great hope at the children, at the mom-to-be, and the land and its opportunity that is so very much harder than you had dared imagine.
It has always been the holiday that chooses to thank God, when screaming or whining is easier, closer to your heart.
The expense. It is the expense that makes the smells, sounds, tastes, and minutes so terribly wonderful, deep, abiding.
So to those of you travelling, guarding, and responding, if this is not the Thanksgiving, then may one truly wonderful find you. I am grateful for you. And if it is with cheese and crackers and a salty tear only, may the Father from whom all good gifts come take note and bless you.