To be Grateful and Thankful This Thanksgiving

Remembering someone watching how we respond to complicated situations!

I remember the day I got the call from my sister,  “I got a call from the hospital. They expected the dad had another stoke, and it does not look promising”. Was he going to pass? What should I do? My dad was being life flighted to a hospital in Columbas, Ohio on a ventilator. All the close family drove to the hospital. One by one, we were saying our last goodbyes.

My mother was the second to last one to get to speak her last earthly words to him in the room.   She said, “Remember the 1st cake that I made you when we were dating? You told me it was the best cake you had ever eaten. Our kids, we designed four of the most beautiful children, they have made us proud. I told you the day that I married you, I loved you to death, do us part, and still love you, Joe. I forgive you and I will always hold a special place for you in my heart.” My mother kissed my father on the cheek and left the room. 

Witnessing what someone does differs from saying what you believe and never living it out in front of those around you. In this moment judgement did not have a hold of me, it was pure love that transformed a place in my heart like to show me how to love when it is a hard thing to do. These power moments can change one’s life, and all those watching with how we respond. It’s not that my mom’s life modeled by my mother was egregious, or even perfect, that does not exist.  

The example before me was how to love and forgive someone despite what they say and do to you. My mom took the high road in her moment, the road less traveled. Mom’s focus on what was right instead of what was wrong and list the wrongs. Why, because it is not about pointing out the wrongs. It is about the focus on what was RIGHT. 

Love always wins. There have been many painful seasons in our family, which we have always come and conquered together. From cancer, stokes, sickness, business failures, job losses, relationship issues, divorce, heartache and heartbreak. No matter what the challenge is, we meet each other right where the other is and accept them for where they are. In the past we tried to change each other and that was a recipe for disaster. Our mom modeled to us that love wins. It does, if you let it in!

Philippians 4:8

So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. 

The truth is, my mom understands the power of honor, forgiveness and gratitude. I look back at that day and think to myself, would I respond the way she did?  My mom’s mom passed when she was 12 and didn’t have much of a mother. She has done an impressive job at keeping those around her loved and valued and cared for REALLY WELL. Even when they didn’t appreciate, honor, and say very dishonoring this about her. She rocked that moment in my life!

Who is in your life now that maybe needs to feel your kindness, gratitude and your thankful heart? A phone call, text message, picture or meme sent to them today to show how much you love and value them in your life. I encourage you to do it for you. It is not for the response. It is for the act of thanksgiving! I am doing my thankfulness a bit differently this year. I am going to call and FaceTime all the ones I love – family and friends. They are worth the time to show how much I value them. 

My good friend and I were talking about what the definition of a really noble friend is. She said, “I am going to be what I want to have in others, I am going to love others fearlessly, and love without expectation.”

Questions to ponder:

Did I take the time to say what I needed to the ones I loved?

Did you love without limitations?

How can you make your mark with those through conversations today?

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