This past Thursday was special. I spent the day fly fishing the cool, clear waters of my favorite, local trout stream with my friend, Gene. Despite the wildfires that have been raging in Western North Carolina for over a week now, no smoke invaded the sanctity of the deep mountain gorge through which the river flows. The weather was spectacular, the fishing decent, and the company as rewarding as one could hope for. If ever there was a perfect day, this was it.
At this same time, last year, however, things were quite different. I was just beginning my recovery from the stroke that occured that October 2nd. I didn’t know what the future held in store, or even whether fly fishing would continue to be a part of my life. I had a one-year-old granddaughter, but I didn’t know whether or not I would get to see her grow into a woman, let alone a young girl. I was scared. So, I did the only thing I could do: I placed my life in God’s hands, and promised Him that I would do everything in my power to change “my evil ways,” if He would permit me to continue on this Earth, for however long He deemed appropriate. (My “evil ways” were those of excess chocolate, inactivity, and failure to address my burgeoning avoirdupois, all of which have been addressed successfully.)
As I write this, I am sitting at my desk in my brand new office. No longer will my literary headquarters share a space with two—count ’em, two—litter boxes. My new office even has a color scheme, which I picked out: it’s pale yellow and hunter green (very restful). There’s carpet on the floor, pictures on the walls, and a real live window. Soon there’ll be a small loveseat and a flatscreen TV to go with the stereo rack (ask your parents, if you’re under 40) and speakers on stands to provide listening and viewing pleasure for this tired writer. But all that is just icing on the cake.
Today, my granddaughter is two! (Happy birthday, Abigail.) She is beautiful and smart, and I am getting ready to welcome her and her parents to our home for Thanksgiving. In fact, we will have all four of our children together for the first time in probably 20 years. (I’m sure one of them will telephone or message me that I am wrong about the figure, but suffice it to say it’s been a long time.) I could not be happier! Becky is already busy cooking . . . and cooking . . . and cooking, preparing all the special dishes that mean so much to her family and mine. We have our health and we have our families, all together—even if for just one day. We are truly blessed, and I am so very thankful.
Thank you, God, for all the blessings you continue to heap upon us.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.