The scent of a familiar cologne wafting into the room. An old song playing on the radio. The smell of spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove, the aroma of garlic filling the air. A black and white photograph of your great-grandparents and grandparents in a photo album together, smiling. These things remind us of people, and so…
Thanksgiving is coming, and it’s a time to stop and be grateful. To count our blessings in a world that at times seems dark and gloomy. It’s a time to be thankful for what is now at present. But it’s also a time to be thankful for things that were. For relationships that you’ve built and treasure and can’t live without; for relationships that you’ve lost along the way for one reason or another, for they were meaningful at one time; and for the precious time you got to spend with loved ones and dear friends.
I was thinking about the power of love tonight when I read the awful story about Doug Flutie’s parents. After 56 years of marriage, Doug Flutie’s father passed away in the hospital of a heart attack after an illness. An hour later, his mother, who was not in the hospital, died of a heart attack. You hear stories of people who die of broken hearts, who often can’t live without one another for too terribly long after one of them has passed. Johnny Cash is a great example of this scenario among many, many others. This potent thing is a testament to love—to the incredible power of it—and to how some can endure after a loss of that magnitude, but others cannot. (If you want to read a fictionalized version of this story, look no further than Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook.)
So how did I move from thankfulness to heartbreak and death to love? Because it’s a part of life and what we need to recognize is just how fleeting our time can be. In the wake of the tragedy in Europe, we should be thankful—thankful for our safety, for our loved ones, for our friends, and for the very fine privilege we have here to be free. But it is not enough to just be thankful; be sure to tell people how much you love and appreciate them. How they have mattered in your life. How you are better for knowing them.
I could go on, but I will stop.
I’m so thankful this year. I really have so many things to be thankful for, and if you’re reading this, you are one of them.