I thought this year instead of being a day late and a dollar short, I’d celebrate Thanksgiving a day early. Nothing really unusual about that. I spent twenty-five-plus years nursing. I’m still getting used to the concept of weekends and holidays celebrated on the real day.
One thing hasn’t changed, duty still requires me to be away from those I love. Honor and integrity never take a day off. I speak of these virtues often. I have failed them. They have never failed me, although they have hurt me. I am thankful today for that and for all those who have inspired me to value such eternal things above the whims of those I meet.
This time of year, when I think of Dickens’ tales, Scrooge and his ghosts usually come to mind. Today though, it is a different tale that is front and center in my mind—“It was best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” It is the nature of best and worst times of which I am thinking.
How easy it is to acquire the worst of times! This year I have been handed the worst heartbreak of my life, I have had my income taken from me for another’s mistake, and my mind has preserved it all for delivery at most inopportune moments. If ever I feel lost, these things know where to find me.
The best of times is another story altogether. I had to work my ass off for every step forward. I have always loved the scene in the movie Shenandoah where Jimmy Stewart is saying grace. He lists the work the family had done to raise the food and operate the farm and thanks, God.
We work for the blessings of life. That is the way God sends the best things come. By my efforts, God led me to discover love without requirements, or hoops to jump through to prove my worthiness. Days and hours wracking my brain in front of this computer keyboard and raging against the obstacles in my path, God used to bring me to a new level in my writing.
I would still trade my ability to cook a full Thanksgiving meal, leaving no dirty dishes, while doing nursing care in the room next to the kitchen for an ounce of zing or a modicum of patience while I worked to obtain it.
Perhaps, it is the nature of each day of life to be that combination of wise and best; foolish and worst. Just remember how each one comes and get to work on your dreams--you're going to have to go out and make them happen.