Monday, November 22, 2010

Prize winning Thanksgiving

It was a couple days before Thanksgiving break. Michael, seated in his wheelchair, was holding a pumpkin while I glued on feathers and multiple little trinkets. Sure to make it the prize winning creation for a contest at school the next day. The best part of this treasured memory is the stories that have followed as a result of the blisters we received from doing this project. It was the first time either of us used an electric glue gun and didn’t realize that some cold water nearby was a necessity. I can still picture Michael laughing hysterically as I rushed through the kitchen screaming, “Hot glue, hot glue”.

That is merely one of the hundreds of Thanksgiving memories I hold sacred like a priceless gem woven into the fabric of my life. If visible it would be a banner displaying the word grateful for all to see. I recall the Thanksgiving feasts enjoyed at my parents house. Multiple tables lined up in the basement covered with each of our favorite things to eat, prepared with great detail by my Mom. Thoughts of my Dad sharing the latest joke he heard, him asking the grandchildren to pull his finger or if they finished their can of pop. I remember the Thanksgiving we were able to enjoy a Zimanske family hay ride; huddled together on a hay rack from the farm. The video camera taping each child announcing their age and Jessica proudly proclaiming she was not 6 but “6½ years old”, which became a memory the Zimanske cousins still laugh about.

Sure to come as no surprise to those who know me, I love to tell stories and share my memories. I enjoy experiencing the shared emotions that flow from the reruns of a happy memory. It feels as if the joy of the memory wraps a loving embrace around the group just because they heard the story, creating intimacy between those who now collectively share the memory.

I am, to my knees, thankful for the many memories I have that give way to great stories. Some happy, some sad, some intense, some just plain silly. Because of them, sheltered in grace and mercy, I have a depth of appreciation and gratitude that is divinely unexplainable, especially during this season of thanks.

At the risk of sounding cliché, remember to say thanks this Thanksgiving. Seize the moment; even if the words don’t come easy. Tell that special someone in your life that you are thankful for them. This Thanksgiving, tell a story and share your memories or create new ones as you Be the Change.

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