Thankful to be Alive

Thanksgiving Day is when we reflect on all we have to be thankful for.  Often this involves paying attention to things we unintentionally take for granted during the routines of daily life and struggles.  We so often forget to be in awe of the very fact that we have awoken to experience another day. To simply be able to see and touch and feel and taste and hear. To share love and joy and sorrow.

I am reminded of a story of my godson Brandon.  He was one of those kids who enjoyed every day, and almost never got upset. But when he was around 4 years old he wanted to know what daylight savings time was.  I had never seen him so upset, before or since, after I tried to explain it to him. “They took away an hour of my life?!”  He was outraged.  He didn’t act out physically, but could talk of nothing else for days afterward.  Every time I think about that, I am reminded of how precious each minute is.

I have both good and sad memories related to Thanksgiving.  Randy Porter, one of the most significant people in my life, used to greatly enjoy making a huge Thanksgiving feast every year.  I miss him dearly, now 6 years after his death.  I would often stop to thank God for having him in my life.  I would say no matter how much longer we had together, I would always treasure all we shared.  That was the first thing that came to mind when I learned of his death  At the same time, I couldn’t help but wish it didn’t have to end.  But then I learned that death doesn’t take away those memories and feelings, and they continue with us as we go on.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that as I’ve been saddened to see a new friend of mine going through the experience of unexpectedly losing his brother this week.

I do have a special joy on this Thanksgiving Day.  I’ve become good friends over the past several years with Diop Adisa.  I got to know Diop when I was fortunate to become involved with the Kheprw Institute (KI) in Indianapolis.  We shared interests in music, photography, justice and activism. I was so happy for him when Spike Lee chose to use one of Diop’s songs, “Lowkey Lowkey” in his new Netflix series, “She’s Gotta Have It” that was released on Netflix today.


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