Lots to be thankful for

I believe it is safe to say that the Thanksgivings holiday is the nation’s premier family celebration. It’s a time when family and friends get together to enjoy each other’s company and take part in a substantial feast.

It’s also an occasion to pause and give thanks for what we have in life and to count our blessings.

At Thanksgiving, along with all the visiting, cheer and eating, I always set aside some “quite time” to reflect on the many people I am thankful for that have made a difference in my life.

Often, I telephone them and thank them for their having helped me - knowingly, and especially unknowingly - become who I am.

I also always give thanks to our military, especially those in harms way. Several years ago I came across the poem “A Soldier’s Thanksgiving” written by Mariane Holbrook. I re-read at this time of year.

I’d like to share it with you.

Over there a soldier’s thinking
Of a time not long ago,
When his loved ones got together;
‘Twas Thanksgiving Day, you know.

Over there a soldier’s dreaming
Of a turkey baked just right,
Mashed potatoes, golden gravy,
Chestnut dressing, pure delight.

Over there a soldier’s hungry
For whipped cream on pumpkin pie.
Squares of cornbread, crusts so tender,
Homemade biscuits stacked up high.

Over there a soldier’s wishing
He could have one buttered roll.
But he feasts on GI rations
While his unit’s on patrol.

Over there a soldier’s lying
In a ditch, his makeshift bed.
Mud and dirt are his companions;
Been awhile since he’s been fed.

Over there a soldier’s praying
That his open sores will heal.
He is sure that he’ll feel better
Once he has a good hot meal.

Over there a soldier’s hearing
Loud explosions, muffled cries.
Shrapnel killed his foxhole buddy
Right before his very eyes.

Over there a soldier’s quoting
Scriptures learned at Mother’s knee,
Proud that he’s a mighty warrior,
Keeping all his loved ones free.

This Thanksgiving as you’re eating
That sweet corn that grandpa grew,
Say a prayer for that dear soldier
Who would love to be with you.

May you and your family have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.