Gratitude11/22/2023 11:50AM ● By Marie-Louise Meyers
As Thanksgiving approaches and the world is again in turmoil, and those afflicted are crying out for help as they once did when we sent Care Packages to war-torn Europe. Is there a reason to maintain a steady as you go attitude everyday let alone set aside a special day to go all-out? I still remember my widowed Grandmother, who was a survivor with her six girls thankful just to have oatmeal with her coffee praying and walking to church never giving up hope in the face of losing six brothers she brought up and loved like a mother even in the Kaiser’s Guard, an elite group during WW1. Let’s be grateful for the small things even though we may feel estranged from the hopes and promises of a new day of peace and survival arriving; when you no longer have to count your dollars, and everything you need for your family going up in price and going down in quality.
I remember a story from the Depression how we had a large X on the step leading to our apartment for our willingness to donate to the homeless looking for work. Maybe just a soup bone, stems and pieces of veggies for their “stone soup” along the railroad track or even a cast off jacket for the cold nights ahead. During the war we had a Victory Garden which furnished the basis of our meals. In the winter I braved going down to the small space of the coal bin
for underneath the cobwebs I found the canning jars so highly prized for they constituted along with our home-made clothes much of the content of my mother’s life to grow enough to sustain us and give us the strength we needed to forge ahead in the world. We still have that garden which furnishes us throughout the year thanks to my daughter where our home flourishes with both Beauty and Truth.
Maybe all of us feel diminished in some substantial way realizing the effects of the inflation
spiraling making much of what we’ve grown accustomed to out of reach, but what to teach our children, certainly not to give up. To change the world around us, we must first change ourselves and those near and dear to us by setting an example . We also have outlets available which cost little or nothing, and we still have a “voice” not only to “remember when” but to illuminate our accomplishments, never too little a chance to show our stuff to instill in everyone who feels the chill of ill will and the world at large to make our little corner of the universe still warm and receptive, and ultimately consequential. Maybe we can’t change the world per se but when voices congregate and express in unison what might have been swept under the carpet, they have a presence and a say, may even have a profound influence on the institutions which govern our lives.
I’m thankful for my insatiable appetite for words which put me in the Driver’s Seat from time to time, and my forthcoming book, “Darkfall” so I can again contribute to the Homeless Shelters in Oxford. So I try to “Pass It On” like my father voiced all his life. I remember Dad in his nineties
at the Jennersville Y pool in the “Body Recall” Class reviving the elderly voices while doing exercises accompanied by a turn of the twentieth century Hit Parade. The spirit was still infused in them, they just needed someone to revive it so they could again live in a meaningful way for they truly had stories to tell, and couldn’t wait now that they were freed up from the bondage of being old and feeling cast aside. Long after he died at 98 they recalled those moments when they were renewed from aching bones and fragile lives.
How often do you spend time talking to the young, who have so much ahead of them but need mentors to advise them. I do time and time again even at the Y, and so do others for we have garnered wisdom over the years which allow us now to reciprocate for all the lessons learned at the feet of those experienced without ever being defeated by the events which threaten us from time to time.
“Bring it on” in today’s vernacular, instead of being dismayed by all the sad tidings around us,
let us sound out with one accord, we truly have much to be thankful for in our Free Society,
so let us generate some worthwhile activity, and start today to ring out in solidarity. Maybe even our government may congeal by picking up on the appeal that’s so real for its coming directly from the souls of its citizenry.