Yesterday I posted a comment on Facebook that expressed how I felt as the Thanksgiving weekend began here in Canada. As we prepare to head out to friends for Thanksgiving dinner I thought I'd share those thoughts with a wider world.
Its Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada and I started thinking that maybe I should make a photo montage of all the things I am thankful for - as I storyboarded it (yes I do that sort of thing) I realized that it wasn't things that I was thankful for but people. People that I have known since childhood and still know and love; people I have met in the various countries we have lived in, many who have become like family; people I have worked with and grown close to; people I have met face to face and people I have only known through the exchange of thoughts through the ether. Of all the things I have been blessed with it is the people in my life that I should be most thankful for - they have given me purpose, meaning and love. I am truly blessed and for that I will always give thanks.
And as I look at this weekend it has and will be one filled with time spent with my family (Laurent and the HFH), friends - long-time and recent.
Uncle Pervy has been a cherished person in my life almost since the day I arrived in Ottawa 36 years ago. Last night was a mile-stone birthday for him and we celebrated amongst family and friends - some of whom I had not seen in many years. Jim, one of our old gang, drove the 1350 kms from PEI to be with us. Others came in from Toronto and the Finger Lakes, some came from just down the street but our paths had not crossed in a while. It was a joyous - and at times a bit bawdy as we recalled old times - meeting of friends and family.
Tonight will be dinner with friends of a more recent vintage - Jackie, Mona and their daughter Shawna came into our lives through a Christmas dinner in 2005 with our friends Ross and Albert. Every year since we have received an invitation to their New Year's reception; we were able to attend several but because of distance more often than not had to send our regrets. But every year without fail the invitation would be extended with the hope that one day we would be able to accept and this past January we were able to enjoy the afternoon with them once more. This evening we'll be joining them and other friends to have a meal together and give thanks for all the blessings of this past year.
Tomorrow at lunch Cathy will be ladling out soup, Laurent will be carving a turkey he cooked (his first!!!) and John will be offering slices of his pumpkin cheese cake. Me - well I'll be opening and pouring a bottle or two of one of our lovely light Italian reds - its an onerous task but I've agreed to it. As we linger over our coffee we will no doubt recall Thanksgivings, other feasts and good times spent together in Chicago, Rome, Aylmer, Niagara-on-the-Lake or just here in Ottawa. We'll be wishing that Rick were here with us and the plan is to call him in Florida to, at the least, tell him what he's missing and that he is missed.
A fine weekend that has been filled with friends, family and thanks. Indeed I am truly blessed and for that I will always give thanks
October 07 - 1998: Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, is found tied to a fence after being savagely beaten by two young men in Laramie, Wyoming.