As I prepare to spend Thanksgiving day with my dogs and cats, a bottle of something and a moment of reflection, I am ready to count the things. Most will gather around a family table, something I too have done many times, with many families, in many places. But not this year. Those families will most likely share a story of blessings. Not me. Not this year. This year I will count things for which I am UNthankful.
I want for little or nothing. I don’t need a holiday to count my blessings. I don’t need a month to regurgitate things for which I am thankful. Though I have spent much of this month doing just that. The fact is….. I am thankful most of the time. Aging has added wisdom, rarely affected by circumstance or event when it comes to being thankful. I am thankful nearly all the time. There are spiritual and sovereign reasons for me and for this.
But today brings me a moment to reflect on things for which I am not thankful. I am refreshed in this unusual moment. A catharsis of sorts. So here goes my first blog entry.
I am NOT thankful my Mother died this year. Mom was a remarkable woman, most mom’s are. And I miss her. I am OK. But I miss her.
I am NOT thankful still, that my wife passed 4 years ago this month. We were not the happiest couple. But Michelle loved me, and I miss that.
I am NOT thankful that Perry Inhofe died this month. Too soon, too young. And even more NOT thankful that I failed to look him up during the year I moved back to Tulsa. It is my regret. I could have made a phone call.
I am NOT thankful when I see men and women living on the street, under bridges, without shelter and minimal comfort. I am even more NOT thankful as the temperature drops as the winter deepens.
I am NOT thankful when I see dogs abandoned on the streets. And I am NOT thankful when I look across my street and see the neighbor’s dog ignored and forced to live outside. One of thousands in the same predicament. I am sad and feel helpless
I am NOT thankful when children are abused. Regardless of the situation or the circumstance, no other words are required.
I am NOT thankful that people get cancer. Yes Cancer sucks. It causes grief whenever it is discovered.
I am NOT thankful that men and women of faith are mean and judgemental. And I am even more NOT thankful that people use the Bible to justify their hatred in the shadow of a loving God.
I am NOT thankful that men and women are at this moment at war. I am even more NOT thankful that fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters are killing each other because……
I am NOT thankful that I don’t get to see my best friend Gordon more often. It was my move, but I truly thought I would return to spend time together more frequently.
I am NOT thankful when I see someone broken down along the side of the road, and for whatever reason I decide it is not my job to offer help.
I am NOT thankful when I hear of someone who has had to put down their pet of many years. And I am even more NOT thankful when I personalize that experience.
I am NOT thankful when I hear politicians speak. I am even more NOT thankful when I hear my friends rant as if they know the truth about what these politicians say.
I am NOT thankful that people face life with ignorance and intolerance and bigotry, and then boldly proclaim their commitment to those actualities.
I am NOT thankful that there are folks in my past that have chosen not to forgive me for my mistakes, transgressions, indiscretions and poor judgement which caused them pain. I am even more NOT thankful that I can’t find them and ask forgiveness.
I am NOT thankful that I am morbidly obese. And if that is my fault, than I am even more NOT thankful for my continuing poor choices.
The list is not complete. I am NOT thankful that there certainly more things I could add to this list. But it is done for this moment.
I am thankful to have shared this, and that you have chosen to read to this point.