Thanksgiving Day. This day last year I was too sick to visit my dad who had just been admitted to the hospital. It was the beginning to the end for my dad and not one I wanted to come. But it came.
We didn’t expect him to leave that hospital, but God gave us the best gift and when the tubes were removed, he woke up and stayed awake for two more days. During those two days, he played cards with me, laughed, talked to his wife, his sister, my brother and his wife, his grandkids, and many other friends and family. I even got to sleep next to him and be held in his arms one more time. The day before he died, he asked me, “What day is it tomorrow?” To which I replied, “November 30th.” He just shook his head. It was almost if he knew that would be the day. He continued to decline throughout that day, and later was released to his home on hospice. That night, my Aunt and I, along with my mom, spent a very long night caring for him, making him comfortable and holding his hand so he always knew he was loved and we were right there with him. That next morning, I woke and looked up at his face. He was gone. At peace and pain free, and in that moment, I found joy that he was home with his Lord.
I even had the gift of love recently, reconnecting with an old high school flame…but I didn’t think I deserved it, so I pushed him away and ran, and lost my chance to be with a man that God basically dropped in my lap while in front of my favorite coffee shop. But I am better today for having had the chance, and will always be grateful for the time we had, for in that time, I found a joy in life again. And who knows…maybe our story isn’t over yet and we’ll get another chance at love.
Where do you find your joy? Is it in your spouse? Your family? Friends? Donating time to others less fortunate? Cooking for loved ones? Being a parent to kids both yours and those who just need someone to love them? Maybe your joy is lacking this holiday season. It’s a hard time for many who are without people that once brightened their every day, but I hope you can focus on the people and loved ones in your life who are HERE and in your life today. Find the joy in the little things that get missed…the smile of a stranger walking next to you at the store, the sweet barista who remembers your name and coffee drink every time she sees you, the person who leaves the quarter in the cart at Aldi, the friend who brings you unexpected coffee at work, your teen who does the dishes without being told LOL! It’s all around you if you just take a minute to look.
I hope you find your joy in this Thanksgiving day and the Christmas season ahead and are thankful for everything God gives you in your life – the good and the bad, because it ALL has a purpose.
Until next time,