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      I’ve been reflecting on Giving Thanks the last day or so , not that I’m not thankful for every day , but more about my historically misplaced thanks .
      In my youth I was always thankful for the family and friends and of course the grub . That time was tarnished by about a 10 yr streak of lost family and friends in the midst of the holiday season and a couple of more times that the feast was hotdogs .
      Growing older I was thankful to have the friends and family but in reflection perhaps I should have been thankful for those no longer with us . Bear with me . Many of those yr were folks lost to cancer and a few to age . My great grandma had lived an amazing life born in 1888 she left Nashville in a covered wagon when she was 4-5 and at the tender age of 24 drove back to Nashville . She likely read about the 2 crazy brothers in SC that flew almost 300 feet and saw the 1 small step speech live . She didn’t have any real health issues but she was tired and was ready to be on her way . Another lasted only a few months after it was learned he had cancer . I suspect he had made his peace 35 yr before on the way to the beach at Iwo Jima . My dad had gone to visit and he said to him “Richard isn’t hunting season ?” ,” Well yeah but I wanted to spend some time with you” , “your boys got a license doesn’t he ?” , ” Yeah ,but ” , get your axx outta here and take that boy hunting ” . Well ,not being one to question his friends he had lunch and said what would be his last good bye and came home to take me hunting .
      My Grandfather passed away on the 17th December some 23 yr ago he was a civilian but employed on Pearl Harbor and was locked in his job and unable to enlist having done his 3 yr hitch 36-38 . He and my grandmother taught me the value of many things . Faith , trust , family …… forgiveness .

      I’m thankful for the 2 ex-wives . 1 that taught me how to see through a mental and emotional abuser . 1 that taught m lole that no matter how good the relationship is the histories of bad and long term defensive walls no matter how thin will eventually cause it to break down . X2 did patch and repair a lot of the damage done by X1 but that of course was at a great cost to her happiness which was an unfair burden for her to bear .
      Ms 3 is a trooper , no spackle or sewing machine just a couple of broke down mules leaning on one another to keep from falling down.

      So this time around I think giving thanks for the friends and family that passed away on their own terms , that taught me the real value of living , that really taught me how to live , those that gave even when there wasn’t much to give and later when they had given probably more than should be asked of anyone . I’m giving thanks for all of the people that taught me the hard painful lessons of life that left at inopertune times that took away the joy of so many times .

      Without them and all of the heart breaking times , the loss , the metaphoric boots to the head and too often the seat of the pants there would be no grand memories of the days we want to be truly thankful for.

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