Our family spent Thanksgiving at a favorite place in West Virginia. We were thankful for the beautiful surroundings, wonderful food, extreme activities, and leisure time. Especially the leisure time.
Most of all we were thankful we could be together. Ours is a lively group, no lack of conversation. We rarely talk about the weather. We talk about each other’s lives
One asked those gathered around the table ‘what do you like most about your job?’ Not a single answer included making big money, although some are well rewarded. The answers centered on ‘helping’ – helping young children learn; helping clients balance the emotional and financial aspects of a significant purchase; helping artists find their marketing voice; helping clients back to health. The obvious joy came from helping others. As Matriarch of the clan, I admit to being a wee bit proud.
Next came a question both difficult and profound “If you thought this might be the last time you’d see someone, what would you say to them?” The question was just to think about. We couldn’t resist answering. Answers ranged from share a good memory, thank them for something they’d done, ask their advice. I recalled my Irish father’s parting words as I left England in 1951. Back then when moving to a new country, you didn’t know if you’d ever again see those you were leaving behind. My father said “Noli Temere” which in Gaelic means, “don’t be afraid.” Thinking back ‘don’t be afraid’ was more encouraging than “be careful.”
Thanksgiving is a time for taking stock. Where we’ve been, what we’re doing, what gives us joy, where we’re going. What and who we’re thankful for. It’s a perfect time to answer the question ‘what would I say?’ and share it now with those you are remembering.
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