I’m in a flurry of cleaning, baking, and cooking, but I did want to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. And this will sound…oh I don’t know, trite? cliche?…but bear with me please. What I want to tell you is to stop and just let your heart be filled with gratitude for the family you have, your blood relatives and your in-laws, however imperfect they may be. Yes, everyone says that, but the thing is to truly do it. And then tell them how much you love them.
On Halloween, a young man at my daughter’s high school, a senior, died in a catastrophic car crash not far from school. This is a small town and everybody pretty much knows everyone else, so not only the family but the whole community was pretty much devastated.
His obituary read, “[He] lived in Chelsea his entire life.”
My daughter told me that at the candlelight vigil, his sobbing older sister addressed everyone, saying:
“If you guys would do one thing for me: take stock of your life and tell everyone you love them. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Apparently she and her brother had had the typical sort of sibling relationship and didn’t exactly spend much time expressing their love for each other. She had gone off to college in August and not seen her brother for some time.
And I know how she now feels.
On the evening of December 4, 2006 my mother called me. I was irritated with her about something and when we hung up, I didn’t say, “I love you, mom.”
Ask me what the one thing is from life that I would change if I could.
No matter how irritated I am with my children, I try to tell them every day before they leave that I love them.
You may find yourself irritated, annoyed or offended by some family member or another tomorrow at Thanksgiving dinner. Let go of the offense. Tell them you love them before you leave. The lie of modernity is that blood is no thicker than water, but that is utter horseshit.
Consumerism, politics, “careers”…it is all meaningless. What I am truly thankful for is the family that I have by blood and by marriage and for the blood of Jesus Christ, shed for the remission of my – and your – sins.
Kith and kin and Christ – the blood you share with your people and the Blood of the Lamb – are the only things that mean anything. Do you have these things?
If not, instead of heading out to that door-buster sale for another piece of crap, I entreat you to call upon the name of the Lord and be saved. And then call your mom or your dad or your kid from whom you’ve been estranged, or whatever relative you have, and tell them you love them.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.