Nov 22, 2012

To be Thankful!

So many times in life, I have had ups and downs just like anyone else...and I have gone through bouts of depression, of utter heart ache and despair. I may again some day. One of the toughest times in my life was watching my mother die of cancer, and then of course the day she left this world and passed on into the next. It was a day we all knew would come. The hard part was watching her fade away, and really become someone else besides the person we knew as Mother, friend, wife, daughter, sister and the list goes on and on. Another time that was hard was many years prior to that, when my parents went through separation and divorce and both parents tried to commit suicide at different times.. It was probably a little less hard being younger and not fully grasping or understanding the details of the why's and how's of it all...than it would be today.. but it was still tough to see your family break apart and then the two people who you loved most, be at the end of their ropes, with no apparent hope in sight. Just like many of us, I guess they felt it was a way out of the mess that their lives seemed to be, and an escape from a pain they had no cure. Another time was when my brother was in a terrible accident and he was burned severely. I will never forget that day. Being his little brother, I guess he always had some sense of looking out for me and the day someone drove him up to the baby sitter's - while my parents were out of town, I saw large bubbles and blisters forming on his body and it broke my heart...and in the middle of what I know was terrible pain, he smiled when he saw me breaking down and said "I will be ok, its alright"... I tear up now just remembering that day. Little did I know the pain and anguish he would endure for many months after, or that of my parents. But you know what? God in His infinite wisdom, mercy, grace and overwhelming love for us all - in so many ways, more than I can count, or even those I am not keenly aware of...redeems us, repairs our hearts, clears our minds, and gives us peace. My mom was the absolute best and I am so thankful to have had the years being her son and she my mom. We certainly shared a special bond, not unlike most mothers and their kids. My Dad, he has to be the most generous man I know, kind hearted, loving, and while our relationship wasn't always the best - God has formed one that nothing could break. He is my father! Not to mention he has brought so much humor to my life and I know as long as he has breath - I can count on him. My brother - well I have watched him through many stages of his life, and I know he has had as much if not more heartache than me in many ways. He struggled through so much and just as I, continues to do this day - but like me, we both share some of the best qualities of our parents - and some maybe not so good we have created on our own, perhaps from our parents, maybe not... but he's a good man and like my dad, I know if I ever needed anything, he'd be there if I needed him. He has a good heart. How much more thankful can I be? My parents although separated and divorced, taught me one of the greatest lessons of life... reconciliation. You see many years later, they mended their ways enough that they wanted to be reunited and they remarried on their former wedding anniversary. Through that reconciliation, forgiveness and simple but eternal love, they taught me one of the most beautiful, most powerful characteristics of God Himself...Forgiveness. I know God had it all planned, because He knew the day would come my Mom would need it, we would need to be a family to endure the months of her battle with cancer and subsequent death. Some things have come full circle and to this day I am still learning so much - sometimes from memories, sometimes from a distance, and at other times in the present... just like today. Me, My Dad and My Brother - all very different and certainly would never agree on the same thing twice, or three times (smile) we each love each other - each expressing it differently, but surely we know its there. Family is good... even when one is missing... Some people say its "mothers who are the glue that holds families together" and I can certainly attest to that...because when she left us, things fell apart, we all did for a while. But little by little here and there, I realize that glue still exists, through God, His mercy, His desire that we all prosper in health, peace, and in our relationships... I am so thankful for today - so very thankful. Thank you God for keeping us united in the way you have, for bringing us together today, for nourishing our bodies, but more than that, nourishing our souls. Thank you for reminding me of the most important thing we can have, and that is relationships with each other, but above all, relationship with You.

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