I looked at him as if he had two heads. "Poor? What makes you think we're poor?"
"Cause we can't afford to go to Disney World."
I looked at him as if he had three heads. "Really, Greg? You think we're poor because we can't afford to go to Disney World?"
His ten-year-old brother, Max, must have detected that I'm about to give a lecture tone in my voice, and excused himself.
"Sit down," I said.
"Why Mom? I know we're not poor."
"Sit down," I said with my well-rehearsed mother voice.
The questions began. "Are you ever hungry and can't find anything to eat?"
"No," they said.
"Are you ever cold and don't have a place to get warm?"
"Do you play hockey and ski?"
"Poor kids don't play hockey and ski."
"We get it, Mom," my son Max said in his almost teenager voice.
"Well, I hope so. Not being able to go to Disney is not the definition of poor," I said making an instant commitment to sign us up to work at the soup kitchen the next weekend, which we did (that just gave me an idea for a future blog post).
I've never forgotten that conversation. It is a reminder that I always need to be grateful for what I have, not complaining because something is missing. Sure, I want things, dream about vacations, but I catch myself if I start to pout because those desires are out of my financial reach.
That is why every Thanksgiving I pull this essay out as a reminder of my many blessings. You may have seen it before, but it's a valuable re-read, especially before the holiday shopping madness begins. The numbers may be different because this was written several years ago, but the sentiments are the same:
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million people who won't survive the week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 20 million people around the world.
If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than nearly three billion people in the world.
If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If your parents are still married and alive, you are very rare, especially in the United States.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder, you are blessed because you can offer God's healing touch.
If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read anything at all.
You are so blessed in ways you may never know. If you are feeling blessed, repay the blessings bestowed unto you and do something for others.
May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! ~ Peggy
A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA:
I was lucky enough to see this scene at dusk when
I went for a walk the other evening. I had to share it!