Anyone who reads GB&GSF regularly knows this holiday season is incredibly difficult for me. It’s hard to believe it’s our first Thanksgiving without Mama. Mama loved to cook and she loved to eat, but the last few years, she hadn’t been able to do either. Still, instead of dwelling on the pain, I’m going to get through the day by following the advice attributed to one of one of the wisest men I’ve ever read — Dr. Seuss — who said, “Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.” With that in mind, instead of spending the day in tears heartbroken because Mama is gone, I’m going to give thanks for the 42 Thanksgivings I was blessed to spend with her. I’m thankful for all the Thanksgiving dinners Mama cooked and when she got tired of cooking, I’m thankful for all the cooks and waitresses at Ryan’s Family Restaurant and Cracker Barrel for giving some of their holiday to wait on us and feed us.
I’m thankful for all the Thanksgiving suppers my Granny Wham made for us over the years she was with us. I’m thankful for all the times I listened to Papa Wham as he bowed his head to say the grace I still remember to this day, “Father please pardon us for all of our sins and we thank you for these and all our other many blessings in Christ’s name, amen.”
I’m thankful for my family and friends still with me. I’ve lost many of them over the years and I figure to lose many more before it’s my turn to journey across Jordan. In just a few hours, I’ll be thankful to sit down at a table FULL of food prepared by my loving “second wife” Laura and other members of her (and by adoption and extension, my) family. I’m thankful for Laura herself and her precious real husband, Cameron and my ersatz nephew Jacob.
I’m also thankful for my beloved Budge and the 17 Thanksgivings she has endured me and my sometimes stormy moods around the holidays. I could never have guessed a simple Hummer ride up a washboard mountain road would turn out to be the beginning of a much longer and sometimes stranger trip.
I’m thankful for all the men and women whose duties won’t allow them to spend a quiet day with their families — our soldiers, sailors, and airmen stationed here and across the world providing safety and security for our nation and many other nations across the globe. Also, I’m thankful for our doctors, nurses, and medical technicians who are staffing our hospitals ready to treat the various injuries and illnesses a day of overeating, overexertion, and — sometimes — overexposure to family can bring.
Finally, I’m thankful that one day I’ll get to rejoin Mama and my other loved ones around another table at a marriage supper and I’m thankful for the One who made that possible by His sacrifice that redeemed Mama, Granny, Papa, Budge, me, and so many millions more down the centuries. Our world was in a mess and without any hope, but Jesus came and by His sacrifice, set right everything Adam screwed up. I know not everyone who reads my blog believes Jesus even existed, much less lived and died to save a doomed humanity, but . . . well, He did and my life is living proof as anyone who knew me “back when” can attest to.
I’m also thankful for all of you who read my blog and who’ve encouraged me over the years. Remember I love all y’all and keep those feet clean as you “gobble til you wobble” today!