30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (PART 5)

If you’d like to peruse the previous entries go here and you’ll find what you seek.

I had the best of intentions…really. Things didn’t work out though, but in the best possible way. Instead of authoring a wordy post about Thanksgiving I was actually living in the moment & celebrating the holiday with my family. After I got home the decision was made to vegg thru my carb overload stupor & watch football, and I’m not sorry. It’s all good though. It has always struck me how we tend to anticipate & plan for certain occasions, and then five seconds after it’s over we just move on to the next thing. Understandable I guess. As that sage high school slacker Ferris Bueller once said, “life moves pretty fast”, but he also said “if you don’t stop & look around once in a while you could miss it”. Perhaps we should consider still being thankful even when Thanksgiving is over. 

21 What song are you most grateful for??

My taste in music is eclectic to say the least. I like hard rock, soft rock, jazz, blues, & a little bit of country. Occasionally the mood to chill with some classical hits me. I love parody songs. I enjoy anything with a lot of harmony…like a barbershop quartet. Some contemporary Christian stuff is okay, but I tend to prefer old hymns. I really dig old crooners like Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin. Big band music is cool. Music is a mood thing for me, although no matter what kind of mood I’m in at the start, once I start listening to some tunes it calms & centers me. I’m so thankful for music in general that it’s really difficult to choose just one or even a few songs, but I’ll throw out a few from different genres. Amazing GraceThe 1812 Overture. Almost anything by Billy Joel (I celebrate the guy’s entire catalog). Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd). Gimme Some Lovin’ (IYKYK). Ain’t That a Kick in the Head (Dean Martin). I really could go on & on. 

22 What story are you grateful for??

What an odd question 🤔. Books?? Short stories?? A story that someone told me?? I’m not sure I understand the intent. Given that, I will give a shout out to my man Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote 56 short stories (and four novellas) about the amazing Sherlock Holmes

23 What tradition are you thankful for??

I wrote in detail about it a couple of years ago, but I am thankful that for over four decades I was privileged to enjoy a somewhat traditional Italian Christmas Eve with my extended family. Sadly those days are gone now, and I miss it. I miss my mother and all my grandparents, and I miss gathering for what seemed like a magical night of fellowship & food. I don’t even like fish all that much, but for one night every year oysters, calimari, & baccala were the stars of the menu, and nothing else tasted quite as delicious. 

24 What challenge are you grateful for??

The Bible says there is privilege in suffering (Philippians 1:29), but I have to be blatantly honest…I’ve had enough challenges to last a lifetime. Occasionally I’ll run across a person who seemingly leads a charmed life. Everything apparently comes up roses for them, and it’d be deceitful for me not to admit that I am envious of folks like that. I am self aware enough to know that much of what has gone awry in my life is my own fault, but sometimes the losses pile up and it’s exhausting. Having said all of that, I do understand that things could be much worse, and I recognize God’s guidance in my life. Those who know me personally are aware that I have used a wheelchair my whole life due to being born with spina bifida. I have faced more challenges than anyone will ever realize, and though I can’t truthfully say I am grateful for the cards I was dealt, I have pondered what kind of a person a healthy, able-bodied Me would’ve been like. Cooler?? Healthier?? Better looking?? Maybe. But would I have also had a totally different personality & outlook…and would that be a good thing?? Might healthy Me have been a total assclown?? If attracting women would have been easier what kind of trouble might I have gotten into??  If more options to distract me had been available how would that have affected my schoolwork?? What would my relationship with my family have been like if I didn’t need so much help as a kid?? I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I know that I like the person I am, though that is far far from perfect. I have always believed that things happen for a reason, so I suppose it’s not a stretch to opine that we should be grateful for all of the challenges that ultimately influence who we become.

25 What moment this week are you most grateful for??

That’s easy. I was able to enjoy Thanksgiving with my father, sister, & two nephews. My Mom passed in 2000, and almost every year since then we’ve gone out to eat, with the exception of a few occasions in which my health prevented me from participating. That was fine. However, earlier this year my youngest nephew bought his father’s old house, and he wanted to host Thanksgiving. Like myself he is a bachelor (although he’s a lot younger so that’ll change eventually), but he did most of the cooking himself, and everything was quite tasty. Food. Family. Football. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

Okay, let’s pause one last time. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion…coming soon!!

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