“I believe if we can establish gratitude as one of the building blocks of our lives, then gratitude can lead us toward the manner of life that would bring a smile to the very countenance of God….Furthermore, when we are grateful, we are more likely to be kind to others. The kindness we show to others not only enriches their lives, but ours as well.” Alvin Sugarman, rabbi emeritus of The Temple in Atlanta and AJC guest columnist
While it seems odd to be posting on this major holiday, it also feels like the most natural thing to do. Expressing and sharing my heart and what is on my mind. We woke up to sleet and are deep in the woods in North Georgia, where we traditionally like to be on Thanksgiving and we have a record low sized group for our feast…seven will be around the table. My husband’s parents, whom we hoped would be with us were not able to join us and Walker and his bride, Jessica are spending the day with her family in Kennesaw. We plan to see the newlyweds on Saturday-Monday. We are thrilled to be sharing the day and the cooking with our other newly weds and Leah’s new in-law family! The remainder of our usual enormous gathering are with new grandchildren, extended family and friends. We’ve been receiving multiple texts with pictures of loved ones with babies as they celebrate life together. What a wonderful annual holiday Thanksgiving is!
For me and for many, I believe, it is a time of remembering Thanksgivings in our past. My Mama LOVED this day and she continually had a full house, forever welcoming more and more to the dinner table. She made the most moist dressing and prided in getting as many grandchildren’s hands as possible into the bowl of the mixing of the ingredients for the most delectable dressing ever. And the stories that were told…sharing the day with my Daddy and his clarinet, our grandfather, Gus, and others who have gone on ahead of us. There was always laughter and smiles when Gus was around! One of our traditions is to pass out 3 kernels of corn to each one present and go around the circle of loved ones saying 3 things we are thankful for. This simple act is a cherished memory in itself. I hope this post will trigger sweet memories of days gone by for you.
Thanksgiving is also a time for making new memories and beginning fresh, original traditions with newlyweds, as well as little ones who have come in to change a young family’s life forever.
As we enjoy Thanksgiving today, there is likely not a person around who has not reflected on the tumultuous circumstances that originated in Ferguson, MO, and I am no exception. Although more sad than anything, I cannot express my opinion one way or the other, except to say that KINDNESS and RESPECT by all humans towards each other would make a tremendous difference in our world. In today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution, Rabbi Sugarman penned an article in a guest column (p. A16) entitled ‘Simply Learn to be Kind’. In his closing, he challenges each one of us with the following:
“During the Thanksgiving season, and every day, may we give thanks and show compassion and kindness to others. In doing so, your presence will be a blessing to all you touch and to our Creator.”