By Thomas A. Paternostro, November 2013Please take a moment to read Dad’s perfect words as you prepare to gather as a family at Thanksgiving this year. We could never have known this would be our last time to share in Thanksgiving in his presence. But, the powerful gift of his writings and his words reminds us that he is still here.
This is his message, and now our message, of peace.
I feel the winds of winter as November drifts slowly towards December. Already, I have witnessed snow drifting across the western hills, landing gently along the meadow. The last rusty leaves of a few oaks on nearby hills hold tight to the glory days of autumn, now almost vanished. I watch the deer, harder to distinguish now as they blend into the dull background of winter’s approach. The winds shake the skeletons of summer in the meadow. The afternoon dwindles into the night earlier as each day passes. A day of Thanksgiving has arrived, and with it, we know that winter’s cold, her howling storms, her bitter cold, will return some day without notice.
Thanksgiving, a time to gather with family and friends, a day of thanks for the blessings of the natural world, and most importantly our families and others we love. This is a time to remember the warm rainy days of summer, the sunshine, the simple things that make our life and this time possible for so many. I think of the labor of those who work the land, those who make sure that pumpkin and apples, milk and cream, turkeys and ham, or whatever your choices may be, are here for us to enjoy.
It is time to pause, to rest, to breathe deeply the aroma of the kitchen. It is also time to reflect on those less fortunate, despite the reasons, and to share the blessings of this land as much as possible in a manner of our choosing.
I take not a single day for granted, not an hour to waste, always thankful for what surrounds me.
I give thanks for the honor to be called an American, thanks for the honor to have served in our military, and thanks to those who still do.
There are many things I still do not understand, like the desire to squeeze the last dollar from a shopper in the name of the holiday season. I do not understand why it is necessary to open stores before their workers have the opportunity to enjoy the second piece of pie with their families. What is the difference if we put off the sale of the season for another day? Have we forgotten so easily, in our hurry, the importance of time together, doing little once in a while, like time to sit and talk around that table so full? When one of the seats is empty, how we will long for one more chance to have just another minute together.
In days, November will slip again into December and winter. The first serious snow of the season can arrive at any time. It is time to reflect as we ponder the winter sky, the quiet cold that lays ahead, our journey, and how long shall it last? December and winter will arrive, filled with holiday spirit, clear cold nights when the air sparkles with starlight, reflecting off the crunching snow.
It is time to rest more, to read more, to reflect, and most of all, time to grow closer to those we love, time to cherish the moments we are granted. It is time to know and live the messages we send, the message of the seasons which we enter, the message of peace.