, Corbin, KY

November 25, 2013

My own personal Thanks-Giving, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — During the month of November, I have been taking time with each newspaper column to write about my personal “Thanks-Giving.” It is a time of reflection to be thankful for those that have made a difference in my life.

The difference could be for some a lifelong difference or it could also be as simple as a passing moment in time.

When you and I are in the mode of practicing “Thanks-Giving” there is a tendency to sometimes avoid discussion or mention of things that were not so pleasant. Maybe the memories are hurtful, or it is a sore spot that you just rather not mention.

Often when we are giving thanks we believe that it should be all the positive stuff and again we avoid the mention of situations or events that were challenging or difficult to get through.

I believe that in order to receive the best out of being a person of “Thanks-Giving” you and I should also not neglect finding the positive or things that should cause us to be appreciative and grateful even if the thanks comes from this type of situation.

In the United States, there is a massive debate about when life begins. The opposing sides have two different takes on life.

Pro-life believes that life begins at conception. Pro-choice believes that abortion is an acceptable practice and each side sees the other and their belief as totally unacceptable.

I share this because I have had to be both practical and realistic in the midst of dreams and prayers.

In my marriage, my wife and I wanted to be parents. I have always wanted to be a biological father.

To be honest with you, discussing responsibilities in a totally scientific realm is not exactly easy.

For any couple that has desired to be parents and raise a child, the tendency is to discuss this in terms of love and words that describe humanity and relationships, not scientific descriptions where there is no attachment or connection.

Losing a child prematurely or if you describe it as a loss, pregnancy is a devastating experience to those involved.

To the awaiting community at-large, a baby shower or birth announcement is the anticipation but this type of experience leaves a total disconnect.

The end of life or a pregnancy is normally held deep within and with a hushed silence as if not speaking about it will make the situation change or go away.

This experience in life is one that we avoid talking about at all cost and attempting to find “Thanks-Giving” out of the situation is one that I had to explore in order to be able to smile again, keep a happy face and the strength to press on.

I found plenty of moments to celebrate life and “Thanks-Giving” because of the experience but it was not easy.

I give thanks for the experience of the excitement of the news we were pregnant. There is nothing in the world like that news!

Thanks for photos of a baby, or life.

Listening to a heartbeat is something to be thankful for.

When despair and even depression set in, finding a way to say thanks is the ultimate challenge.

Finding a way to say thanks for fleeting moments requires work and commitment.

The loss of a single life is difficult, the loss of twins is added hurt and pain.

Finding joy and appreciation for the experience is not an easy road to travel but the experience of finding thanks is life-changing.

To be a biological parent is awesome, I applaud all who are and I thank God you have what scripture calls a “blessing” in your life. I pray you are thankful and realize the gift you have been given.

My experience and witness in life is that so many who are biological parents seem to have so little appreciation for the gift God gave them.

Counting my blessings and naming them might not include the scientific term “biological,” and honestly that is OK with me, I never enjoyed studying biology anyway.

However, if you are willing to travel a different road, a road that others might avoid, that it there you will find blessings — I know I did.

Stepping into a life by invitation to be “father” is an opportunity that creates plenty of “Thanks-Giving.”

I am confident that if we each take time to talk about the difficulties and challenges of life, we might just be able to discover plenty of thanks we can write down in our “Thanks-Giving” for 2013.

We are each different and unique. This provides for us special “Thanks-Giving” that should be properly noted in the history of our lives.

Our testimony to be is that we faced the challenge, we walked through the fire and came out the other side with a deep appreciation of God’s love, mercy and grace that would have been lost without the experience.

Until then...