On this Veteran’s Day, I am thankful for the men and women, both past and present, who serve in our armed forces with dignity and courage around our nation and our world. The sacrifices they make are many and great, and they go mostly unnoticed, except by those who are close to them, and often deeply affected.
In our own family, we have had, among others, a great-grandfather, great-uncle, and grandfather serve in three major wars, and neither my great-grandfather nor my great-uncle returned from World War I or World War II, respectively. This meant that my grandfather Bob, who was just a baby when his father, Augustus, was killed in WWI, never knew his dad growing up. My great-uncle Bill was serving in France in 1944 when he fell in the line of duty. He was just 20 years old. He was his parents’ only living son, my grandmother, Jean’s only sibling. She still misses him today.
If these losses weren’t enough to convince me of the horrors of war, my very friendly and outgoing grandfather’s life-long reticence to speak of his own experiences in both World War II and the Korean War left no doubt in my mind. Nor did the scars on my grandfather’s hands and arms which he wore as a reminder of the injuries he suffered when Kamikazi aircraft hit his naval carrier during the second world war. He was very badly burned but returned home and enjoyed a long, wonderful life, becoming father to three children (the first of whom was my own dear Mom) and grandfather, or “Pa” as we called him, to seven grandkids (the first of whom was Yours Truly!). Pa was blessed to live long enough to see four of his great-grandchildren born and hold them in his arms, arms which still bore the scars of a fiery battle fought more than 50 years earlier.
Mine is not the only family who carries memories of those who sacrificed in service to their country. On this Veteran’s Day, no matter our individual stances on wars, past or present, I hope we will each pause and thank God for the freedoms we enjoy, many of them because of sacrifices which people we never knew made on our behalf. Thank you to our veterans.
We are wrapping up three full weeks of various illnesses and maladies around our house. Nothing terrible or life-threatening, but draining all the same, especially when both parents have been down for almost the entirety of the time. Today as I write this, every single person in our family is ill with one form of cold/sinus crud/fever virus or another.
All this being sick reminds me of how thankful I am that we enjoy wonderful health most of the time. It also reminds me of how blessed we are to have access to incredible medical care: doctors aplenty, surgeons and specialists when we need them, therapists for all manner of issues, and more hospitals than I can count on one hand within a 20 minute drive from our house. We also have easy and reasonably affordable access to medicine, and because of this I cannot even imagine what it is to be faced with a medical issue that I could not (somehow) find a doctor/medicine to tend to as needed.
So, today I am thankful for the blessing of health. I am grateful for good doctors, accessible medicine, and relatively affordable health care when we need it for us and for our loved ones.
I’m also incredibly thankful for dear, sweet old friends who show up at my door with three different kinds of hot, delicious soup to feed me and my family for supper when I am down with fever and the crud. We love you, Stephie!!
Today, I am thankful that while cantering during her riding lesson, and being thrown from the horse, that Abigail did not suffer any injury other than a rather sore and bruised hip, upon which she landed. My girl would spend every waking moment up at the stable if she were permitted, and I love and am thankful that she has the opportunity and ability to enjoy something she loves so much. Today I am also deeply thankful and grateful to God for keeping her safe while she rides.
Today I am thrilled and thankful to hear that we have a new niece/girl cousin on the way!! Congrats to Aunt Sandra and Uncle Keith!! We’d have been super excited, boy or girl, but it’s pretty impressive to be the ones responsible for breaking a six-in-a-row streak of boy cousins. Since Josiah was born in 2005, we’ve been blessed with the very manly additions of: Matthew, Isaac, Judah, Jacob, and (also still on the way!) Elisha, but it looks like pink is making a comeback in the family!! Here’s the happy big brother sharing the great news:
Today I am very thankful that God invented oranges, partly b/c while I have a nasty cold they are about the only thing that tastes refreshing to my “feels like it’s stuffed with cotton” mouth.
And I am oh so thankful for three wonderful and goofy boys, who today decided they have the makings of a garage band and therefore got to work dragging out and setting up instruments in (somehow very appropriately) the garage, and commenced to practicing. Here, for your listening enjoyment, is one of their first attempts at music:
Today I am thankful for homemade cinnamon rolls that I got to eat with the people I love the most, for the blessing of easy access to even the simplest of medicine — which made Jonathan’s bout with high fever today so much easier for him, and for movies* that make us laugh, cry, and even inspire us.
*If you haven’t heard of Bethany Hamilton, first go read her book, Soul Surfer, (which she wrote at the tender age of 14 – local friends, it’s in our Dallas libraries) and then grab a copy of the movie which was released earlier this year. There is a documentary on the DVD’s extras that is not to be missed which features interviews with this remarkable young lady as well as great footage of her awesome surfing! Our family was encouraged and inspired by Bethany and the way she simply lives out her faith, touching many lives with her story and testimony.
Today I am thankful for Saturdays, and the wonderful break they represent from the normal routine: seeing our little jammied boys snuggled on the couch watching cartoons quietly in the morning, family pancake breakfasts, 4-square matches in the driveway, working together on stuff around the house, having time to just sit down and talk things out, and everyone pitching in to help make supper. I am thankful for Saturdays at home.
Today I am thankful for weather so ridiculously gorgeous, it couldn’t be any prettier than if we’d ordered it (how I LOVE fall weather!), for answered prayer that brings hope to my heart, and for a date night out with my dear one.
Today I am thankful for the incredibly wonderful smell of pinion wood burning in a chiminea, for bedtime snuggles and kisses from my sweet Little Jo, and that despite being terribly in-between girls and women’s sizes, my lovely daughter now once again owns a pair of jeans that actually fit her and that only cost $10.50 and a couple hours of earnest shopping.
I am thankful for feeling cozy indoors on cold windy autumn evenings, guacamole, Cosby Show reruns with my kiddos, forgiveness, and a sweet Hubby who helps schlep our little darlings around when I have a fever, even though he’s sick as a dog himself.