I like to run. I always have. Where I live now I have two courses I usually run. One is at Toccoa Falls College which is a beautiful spot to just enjoy a run. The second spot is a local cemetery. I know that sounds strange but there is something just peaceful about running there.
Over the course of many miles, I have had the chance to read many of the tombstones. One family plot really got my attention. This plot is a small section containing four headstones. Mom and dad are there. Dad lived to be 62. Mom lived to be 78. One interesting thing is the two small headstones next to mom and dad. Two children are buried here. The first is a son who lived for one day. Dad was 24 when his son died. Mom was 22. The second is a daughter who also lived for only one day. Dad was 23 when he lost his daughter. Mom was 21. There is no indication the family had any other children. I just stood next to the graves wondering about what this family had endured.
It is hard for me to imagine losing a child. Losing two children when you are in your twenties? That’s hard to take. Then going the rest of your life with no children had to lead to some deep feelings for both mom and dad and some interesting private conversations.
So, as we approach Thanksgiving why even talk about this? Here is why. Many of us have family members who are still living. Yet, we get caught up in non-stop work, texts, email, and other things that rob us from spending time with our family. We get so busy with the daily grind in our lives that we forget to tell our family how important they are to us and that we really do love them.
We forget to ask our kids what is happening in their lives and what is important to them. We forget to listen. We get into a routine that keeps us from spending time with our spouse doing something that is important to them. We don’t intend to let time get away from us but it just seems to happen. I would bet that the family who lost their two children would talk privately about how they would give anything to have their kids with them throughout their lives.
Many of us do have our kids and our spouse with us every day. They are gifts. Be thankful for them and let them know it this Thanksgiving.
For those who are not married or do not have children…you have others who care about you. Mom and/or dad, brothers, sisters, friends, etc. There is someone in your life who really cares about you. Let them know how thankful you are for them too. I bet someone in your life would love a phone call this Thanksgiving.