According to Webster Thanksgiving is “a public celebration in acknowlegement of divine favor.” Basically though, it is the act of giving thanks.

The very act of giving thanks is both extremely personal and varied. I spend much of my time these days in a nursing home. My Mom has been ill for more than seven years now. Before I was visiting the skilled nursing home in which she currently resides, I was visiting an Assisted Living Facility. I am rapidly approaching 58 years old and no longer consider myself a kid but spending time with the “considerably older” among us gives one a different perspective on Thanksgiving.
These visits provide me with daily opportunity to discern the important things in life.
I will list but a few things that while they may not be on your “hit parade” for circumstances for which you customarily give thanks…Perhaps they should be.

1. Today, I know my name, the names of my friends, acquaintances and family and my place in our world is clear.

2. Today, though I may not really want to go to work I am capable of doing that work well.

3. Today, if I have to go to the bathroom, I just stand up, walk myself into the bathroom and do what comes naturally. I can also feed myself and decide if I want a sandwich, cereal, or nothing.

4. Today I will lie down in my own bed, in my own place of residence and gently fall off to sleep in the surety that my world and my place in that world are safe and protected.

5. Today, though the day at work may have been brutal, my head hurts and my feet do too, my contribution to the world, small or large was made. I feel my presence made a difference. Today, I have not been entirely forgotten by the world, deemed completely irrelevant,ignored and left lonely.

Today can change for anyone. It holds no promise of tomorrow or what circumstances might be part of the landscape of that tomorrow. It can change in a second.

Be thankful to those who have given you life and shared their very best with you. If their lives are no longer what they were, they are still lives. Value that and spend a moment thanking them for the gift. Without it, you wouldn’t even be here.

Patti and Gary Wiles

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