I told my wife this morning its worse at night. It being the stuffy nose and sore throat that have decided to take up residence in my body for the last couple of days. I did wake up feeling like dog shit and I use that phrase intentionally because as I walked into the kitchen to brew some coffee I stepped in beagle shit. Jack our Beagle has pulled this stunt twice now in two weeks and me being the early bird, well, I got the worm. But I’m back in bed now, foot washed, and my wife and I both have our laptops open, side by side. That may not sound so romantic but it is. In the realm of possible scenarios we could both be absentmindedly smoking Pall Malls that might catch the bed on fire or fighting over some unresolved offense from the day before, but we’re not, we’re working on our ‘puters and its quiet save for the click, click, click of our long-married fingers on the keys and the train rumbling by outside. Its really quite sweet.
So I’m slouching toward Thanksgiving a little under the weather, as opposed to how I usually am, which I guess is over the weather. Last night my son said Dad, you’re never sick. He’s right, and I’m thankful for that. And that’s really the deal, isn’t it? You can practice gratitude every day, and I try to do that, but deep-down-in-your-boots-thankfulness really rears its head in the absence of something, something you’ve taken for granted. Taken for granted is not the best phrase to use, maybe something you’re accustomed to, yeah, I like that better. Old George Bailey was a good man, grateful for each new day, but it wasn’t until all that was taken away in his winter-dream and Mary was a spinster at the library and Harry Bailey was cold and dead in the ground and Mr. Potter ruled from his mean, dark throne that George was truly thankful for his waking life, his wonderful life.
I cry every time I see one of those reunions, the ones where a man or woman serving in harm’s way gets to come home and she or he is reunited with sons and daughters and spouses at the airport. Those people always hug and hang on tight. Its beautiful, and I think now those folks are thankful. Someone those family members were accustomed to having around was gone for awhile but now they’re back, safe, home for the time being. About the only thing you can do in moments like that is whisper thank you. Those words really mean something because of the absence.