A season of giving thanks

Published 1:07 am Sunday, November 23, 2014

As Thanksgiving approaches it is easy to be thankful this time of year.
This is the season for family and friends to gather and count the ways they are blessed.
I must admit that up until yesterday I was gearing up for a holiday spent with family and looking forward to two turkey dinners. No, we aren’t that blessed but my wife, son and I are planning on spending Thanksgiving in California with family. Being blessed with a large family means having to split the holiday up and spend Thursday with one half of the family and Friday with the other half.
I’m still looking forward to the trip but a middle of the night phone call that came early Saturday morning threw a wrench in those plans.
One of my uncles passed away after a long battle with coal miners disease or black lung. He was one of the most generous people I knew and the world is different without him.
He was my mom’s brother and they were raised dirt poor in the Appalachia Mountains. There were 10 kids in all and times were tough back then.
I grew up listening to tales of my mom and her siblings being so hungry they would fight over the leftover grease. They slept in a bed stacked under the covers like cordwood.
I swear I once heard them tell me how they used to walk to school with holes in their shoes in the snow uphill both ways.
I know my uncle isn’t suffering anymore and the holidays will still happen.
I know I am blessed with a beautiful wife and a terrific son and I am truly grateful that I’ve never experienced what my mom, aunts and uncles did.
Life is full of unexpected circumstances; enjoy the moment in the moment. We will at least twice, once on Thursday and again on Friday.

Paul Barry is the managing editor and can be reached by email at paul.barry@vicksburgpost.com or by phone at 601-636-4545 ext. 123.

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