We Should All Be So Grateful

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Like many, I feel very grateful today. The turkey is being prepared by my sister at my brother’s house this Thanksgiving. I’m surrounded by five nieces, one nephew and one son today. That can make any person feel rich and blessed.

I’m also grateful for the conversation that I had with my other son (Jeremy) who’s missing our family gathering. He’s in Vietnam working with some amazing priests who run an orphanage for HIV positive children.

He wished me a Happy Thanksgiving in a tired voice. He must be working hard. We talked about food for a little bit as he misses the girth of Western foods at times.

Nonetheless, it’s obvious that he doesn’t feel bad about missing Thanksgiving. His voice perks up whenever he talks about “his” kids. He’s thankful for them.

Recently, he visited a “slum” with Father John (his mentor). They tended to a man who is losing his battle with AIDS as bacteria is eating away his legs. His 11-year-old son had to quit school to take care of him. It’s just the two of them in a shack.

The son diligently takes care of his dying father without a single complaint.He doesn’t worry about what will happen to him when his father dies. He just wants to make the last days for  his father as comfortable as possible. He’s not bitter. He doesn’t want pity. He just wants to take care of his dad.

Jeremy doesn’t want to compare lives with this boy to be thankful. I think he’s just thankful to see the selfless compassion of a dutiful son — an 11-year-old boy who is grateful for making a difference during the last days of his father’s life.

We should all be so grateful for our lives… regardless…

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.