Tradition says we are to pause and count our blessings this time of year. I see so much around me that clearly is not a blessing, on the surface. Unemployment, sickness, suicide (this has become far too prevalent near me lately), hard times for many who have never faced hard times before. It's difficult to be thankful when we have so much less to be thankful for these days.
A specific hardship for a family, a very sad occasion near me this past week. A man who at appearance had everything, a loving wife, children who have all excelled academically and athletically, a successful business that they'd just added a third location to, was in the middle of building a nice new (bigger) home for his family, went into his bathroom and shot himself in the head. No one was home at the time, the wife was still working at one of their stores, the children were all out doing their usual Friday night activities and no one had a clue he was so desolate in his thoughts with himself that he could do something so tragic. I've been hurt, I've had upsetting times in my life, I live with sickness and pain that some days is almost impossible to deal with, but even in my darkest most hopeless moments I have never believed that giving it up and pulling the trigger on myself was the answer. The first thing I always think about is how my actions will affect the people I love most. How would they deal with what I was so selfish to have done? I could never do it, and even though I'm working really hard at trying to not be judgmental about someone else's choice, I can't help but think how incredibly selfish that was of him to do! I feel so sad for the family who will probably forever wonder why their love, affection, and being who they are were not good enough for that man to want to live any longer.
I will be thinking of that family tomorrow when in the midst of the gorging, laughter, practical jokes my kids are famous for, all 5 dogs chasing each other through the house and being underfoot waiting for crumbs to drop, and any last minute disasters of dinner I might have to deal with, it will all be welcome because we are all still here to share it.
Many blessings and peace to your household this Thanksgiving. May whatever God you believe in abundantly bless you and give you all the happiness and joy you can stand!
I was going to have some prestigious announcements about "Random Encounters" and "Bright Lights, Money & Show Biz, Honey" but it doesn't seem appropriate at the moment. I'll be back another time to blog about terrific things happening for me and my books.
Hug everybody today! Every blasted one of them, whether they deserve it or not. They may not be here next year for the hugging.