This Thursday we will celebrate Thanksgiving. Contrary to popular opinion, the first Thanksgiving really wasn’t about Native Americans and the Pilgrims bonding and sharing each of their respective delicacies. And I doubt that the Pilgrims had big shiny belt buckles that matched their glossy shoes with smaller matching shiny buckles.
The truth is the Pilgrims sought a new land where they could freely practice their devotion to God and to follow the laws of their God. They recognized that all they have is a gift from their Maker and that they should take the time to be thankful. That is the essence of Thanksgiving.
It still is.
Personally I enjoy the simplicity of Thanksgiving. Well, it’s simple for me, probably not my wife who works diligently to host a gathering of twenty-five as I watch football, feast on turkey, trip out on tryptophan, take a nap, wake up, repeat cycle.
All kidding aside (well most kidding aside) I get those warm tinglies when conjuring up thoughts of families gathering to spend time together and to focus at least for a day upon all that they have instead of regretting what they don’t have or fretting over what they aspire to have.
At times we are probably all guilty of feeling sorry for ourselves because we lack what we want but don’t necessarily need. That’s ok I suppose. It is after all the culture that we are brought up in. To win, succeed, achieve something that our parents didn’t or to assist our children to achieve something that we can’t or won’t.
Thanksgiving is a time to exhale; to look around you; look at your loved ones; look at who you are and what you are because of them.
I remember a few years ago on a brisk and refreshingly bright early Thanksgiving eve, I walked outside alone. The air was still and the black sky was littered with twinkling stars. Off above the horizon was the moon peering through a cloud, the only cloud in the sky. The wind was still and every molecule of my breath was clearly visible against the backdrop of the dark sky and barren trees.
It was one of those fleeting moments when everything comes into clear view and you can almost feel a weight lift from your shoulders.
The chill of the night began to grip me and I retreated to the warmth of my sister’s home. Somehow after a peaceful timeout under a dark autumn sky I felt more appreciative of that home and certainly my sister who has always been there for me, in many ways my Plymouth Rock.
Today as I sit and share this reflective moment with you, I’d simply like to say thanks to you too. Thanks for considering my opinions, those of my colleagues and for taking the time out of your day to visit our site. Our journey has exceeded seven years now and there’s a long, long way to go. I’m happy that you have taken in part of the journey with us and I’m hopeful that you will stay a lot longer.
There are so many that I want to thank for being part of my world and part of the 24×7 world. If you’ve touched us in even a small way, thank you!
And then there are those whom without we wouldn’t be what we are today and those folks are deserving of mention. Please forgive me in advance if I unintentionally omit anyone.
To our sponsors past and present, thank you. I hope that we’ve helped you in measurable and memorable ways and I hope that we will continue to do so. I know that this has been a very trying year for many of us and a challenging year for your businesses. Your continued support through these turbulent economic times will not be forgotten.
To our staff, thank you for challenging me, criticizing me, inspiring me, amusing me and mostly for knowing me. Your words and your pictures are the essence of our portion of cyberspace and my world has been enriched by your presence. Thank you!
To D3 Corp, where would 24×7 be without you? To John, Tanja, Mike, Nikki, Laurie, Jason, Angelo, Natalee, Kate and the rest of the gang…thank you for your patience, for tolerating my intrusiveness and your collective excellence.
To Steve Gardner and all of our message board moderators: Thank you for taking on a sometimes thankless job and delivering the best message board dedicated to the Baltimore Ravens.
To my family and friends: Thank you for your support, your encouragement, your understanding, your ideas and enthusiasm. Thanks also for your smiling faces. I hope that you’ve enjoyed seeing them on 24×7 as much as I’ve enjoyed showing the world the wonderful people who I choose to spend my time with.
To my kids, Tyler & Tori: We’ve weathered storms together; we’ve cried together; we’ve laughed uncontrollably together. Thank you for providing me with the drive to excel and for forgiving me for parental shortcomings. Together we will always be and together we can conquer ANY obstacle.
To my wife Ruthie: Thank you for inspiring me to be a better man; for believing in and sharing my vision; for every single day that I wake up and smile; for allowing me to realize the beauty of marrying my best friend. There is no way that a man can love a woman any more than I love you.
To my Dad: You have had an unbelievably physically challenging year yet through it all you have maintained your composure, class and dignity. Despite being kicked down, disappointed, visiting God only knows how many doctors and often left alone in an uninviting hospital bed for nearly 3 months, you kept your sights on a healthier future knowing that that would make it easier for the rest of us. I hope to one day be half the man you are. Thank you for being such a wonderful mentor.
And thanks to all of you for indulging me if you’ve read this far and for sharing in my Thanksgiving, my favorite of Holidays.
In closing, I’ve always believed that Thanksgiving is the true starting point of the Holiday Season which culminates for me with the spirit of Christmas. That spirit, regardless of your religious convictions is captured in the closing scene from the movie Scrooged starring Bill Murray (@ 4:40 mark of video below). It absolutely represents the core of any faith.
This year, given how so many families have struggled, so many have lost loved ones to tragedies, even casualties of war, Murray’s message resonates perhaps even more today.
Watch the clip below.
May it put a little love in your heart, capture it, nurture it and replenish it and your spirit today, during The Season and every day of your life.