“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”

— Albert Schweitzer

It is Thanksgiving Day.  Just as the sun begins to rise, we will get into our car and travel to upstate New York for a dinner with my sweetheart’s family.  Yesterday was his mom’s 88th birthday; and she is still able to host dinner for all who care to attend.  We are thankful.  It is not the dinner that makes the holiday but the people who gather, the old familiar faces of the people we hold close in our hearts.  We are thankful.

My own parents will be sharing Thanksgiving today with my sisters who live nearby.  My brother-in-law, my nephew, and a friend from the assisted living facility will round out their table for eight; and although I am far away from their home in Florida, I will be there in spirit.  There is something about Thanksgiving that opens our hearts and calls us to take stock of another year.  Soon my Dad will be 90.  We have had another year to share with him, and we are thankful.  Each year at Thanksgiving, when we gather to open our hearts, we remember the other Thanksgivings and make note of how the children have grown, how the old folks have grown older, of the new babies born, of the missing faces.  We are thankful for times like Thanksgiving when we all come together in a celebration of life and hope.

Today I will look back on the year that has passed since the last time we celebrated Thanksgiving.  I will look at the faces that gather at our table, I will think of the faces I would like to see sitting there.  I will hold in my heart all the dear friends and family who have fanned the flame of my inner fire this year.  I will let that fire warm me, from the inside out, and I will let it radiate to warm anyone who may need a place to rekindle their own.  I am blessed with so many dear people who uplift and encourage and sustain me.  And I am thankful.