This morning I went through my normal routine of getting ready for the day. Like most people, it involves showering, brushing your teeth, if you still have hair, you fix it. Being that it is the week of the Thanksgiving holiday, I started to think about all the things I’m thankful for in my life.
It’s a long list to be honest. I’m a lucky guy. I’m thankful for my wife, my parents, my brother, my dogs, my job, my home, my health. You get the picture.
Then I started to think about it in a deeper way.
Honestly, I’m thankful I’m not sad.
I’m thankful that this holiday is still enjoyable because I haven’t suffered significant loss or heartache that makes this holiday season unbearable. But I remember those who have.
I’m thankful my family is alive and well. But I remember the families who are spending their holidays in a hospital.
I’m thankful for those who continue to serve our country as first responders and in the military whose service doesn’t take a break on the holidays. But I remember what it was like working on holidays and how much I looked forward to them being over.
Unfortunately, the holidays are not always a fun time for everyone. We all suffer loss and family members pass away. It’s the inevitable circle of life, I dealt with it myself just a few months ago. However, for some people in our society, they may have just lost everything. Their husband or wife, their Mom or Dad, their provider, their hero.
The family of Chicago Police Officer Jimenez is planning a funeral this week, instead of worrying about when they are going to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Officer Jimenez had a wife and three children and did nothing to deserve his fate, other than become a police officer and serve our country. He heard the “shots fired” call come out at a hospital and responded, like any police officer would. He went toward the danger and paid the ultimate price. I’m thankful for him, but I will remember his family during the holidays.
In an odd conflict of emotion, I struggle to simply be thankful and happy, because I know what others are experiencing. I wish I had a solution or something I could say or do to help them, but I know I can’t. These words will do nothing to heal the pain, they’re simply intended show sympathy and understanding that it exists.
No words I can write will stop the pain felt by the families who have lost their hero at the hands of the evil that walks among us.
So when you’re done eating your Thanksgiving turkey and you’re drifting off to nap to the sound of the football game, be thankful and remember those who aren’t so lucky. I know I will be.
I’m Thankful, But I Remember.
The Officer Next Door