Roger Marolt: Thankful for the opening of ski season and…
I just completed my 20,062nd day on Earth. Put away your calculators — I’ll be 58 in March. The amazing thing is that in every single one of those days, I had everything I needed. The proof of this is that I am here. It’s as obvious as it is overlooked. The many things that I wanted or thought I needed that I didn’t get are rendered completely superfluous in retrospect. I am thankful for this perspective.
It would be impossible to recall all the things I worried about in this accumulation of time, but it is easy to remember those that actually came to pass. I can do it on one hand. I suppose the more you worry the more you increase the chances of more bad things never happening and then can brag that you are lucky, but I have learned you are better off to just not worry so much to begin with.
Oddly, if not all that surprising, the things I feared most that eventually did happen ended up not being as bad as I had feared. I am thankful for this. Even the tragic losses, after swirling the idea of them around in my uneasy stomach, I can, with trepidation, hoping not to conjure their reality again, be thankful for them, too. What I felt at the time were things that would destroy me ended up getting forged into the strongest links in this chain of days that is my life.
For all the dreams I came up with and pursued passionately that did not come true, I am thankful. I know now that, had those dreams come true, I would have missed out on the most incredible things in my life that I did not yet have the capacity to even imagine. I never set out to meet my wife. She appeared one day and I know not how she ended up in the middle of my path to somewhere else, but this twist continues to be a perpetual blessing. She is the one for me. I am thankful for the sudden turn at that sign that read, “This way to the place where one plus one equals infinity.”
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Who could ever explain what having a child is like? I am blessed with three and what they have provided is pure nourishment for my soul that keeps me growing. What can’t be explained, through thousands of family pictures or words coming straight from the heart through my tightened throat while tears fill my eyes, is a gift beyond any measurement.
I am thankful for the back injuries that could have taken my life, but only took away skiing, biking and running for a while. During one, I dreamt and literally saw my life held in the brilliant hand of God. I awoke physically cured and spiritually ignited. The other time, I moped around the house feeling sorry for myself until I got to know my family. It was then I vowed to be the best dad ever. I understood this could not happen without being the best husband, so I took that on, too. Of course I am neither of these things, but declaring this intent to my family changed everything, especially when they saw I was serious. I grow ever richer in the abundance of their love.
I am thankful for the end of my father’s life coming far sooner than expected and for my mother continuing to live a long, fruitful life. In both circumstances I continue to see more clearly the depths of each’s character and my love for them growing every day all the more. Through them I understand how precious each moment of life on this planet is and deepen my faith that the preciousness of eternity is far greater.
I am thankful for my siblings in whom I see a reflection of myself off our shared experiences in our lives together spanning longer than any friendship. It is not our blood that is thick, as they say, rather the fabric of extended family we weave so intricately together as to form a huge, soft blanket that warms me in the dead of night.
I am thankful for my friends who will knock me down to Earth in moments of treasured camaraderie and then compassionately lift me up when I trip on my own.
I am thankful for this mysteriously inexplicable world full of joys and sorrows, good and evil, order and chaos and the string of opportunities throughout all my days to try to make it better, always being lured to do so with the sense that this is never a wrong choice, whether I indulge in it or not. While not always doing what is right, I still know what is right and so preserve the chance of getting there.
This is my prayer of Thanksgiving.
Roger Marolt thinks we should vote to make every day Thanksgiving Day before we even consider rolling back Daylight Savings Time. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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