With Thanksgiving behind us now and Christmas fast approaching, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what Thanksgiving meant to me this year and how it was without a doubt more meaningful then years past.
I had a pretty stinky (if that's the right word) childhood. I don't have a lot of fond memories especially of the holidays. In fact, I harbor some real sadness about how my parents raised me and my 4 siblings. With that said, as an adult now I have learned to appreciate life to what I thought was the fullest. I thank God each and every morning for the 4 beautiful children I have and the wonderful gifts that he provides us daily. It's of utmost importance to me to teach them about God and his goodness, for them to know that they are never alone (EVER), and nothing (NOTHING) is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)
Recently, when a friend of mine lost her 12 year old son in a flash flood accident, I couldn't understand how this could happen. It shook my very being (and still does to this day). I use the word friend sort of without permission. You see, although I consider Anna and her family friends they don't even know I exist. I know them through a friend from church who is neighbors with them. Since my friend shared the tragic news with me I have been following their journey and have grown to love and care for this family. So, I consider them friends.
Now three months after the accident, I still can't make any sense of what happened to their son or what if any peace they can find moving forward. But what I do know is somehow their son Jack, who loved LEGOS and whom I have never met has changed my life forever.
Jack Donaldson has helped me to reconnect in a sense with God. I hadn't lost my connection (so I thought) but God had become maybe too "routine". Just my quick prayers in the morning and the occasional "thank yous" throughout the day and I was on my way. Now I kneel down, bow my head and I pray (A LOT). Thank you Jack Donaldson.
Jack Donaldson has made me hug harder and longer. Oh yes I hug my children 15 times a day (maybe more) but maybe my hugs had become maybe too "casual". Now I hug with more purpose and they have more meaning (and last longer). Thank you Jack Donaldson.
Jack Donaldson has made me appreciate more. Oh yes, how I have always had a sense of appreciation but things had become maybe too "there". Now I see the blessings in everything. Thank you Jack Donaldson.
Jack Donaldson has made me a better mom. Oh the patience and wisdom you have taught me. You have shown me how to really be grateful again. Not just go through the motions. Thank you Jack Donaldson.
When our family started arriving at the door Thanksgiving morning, I hugged each and every one of them and I felt their presence and I loved. And as our family and extended family gathered around the Thanksgiving Day table I sat in awe. I soaked it all in. Every precious moment. When my husband said the prayers before our meal, I closed my eyes and I saw God and I thanked him with my whole heart and soul (and I said a prayer for my new found friend Jack).
So today when I saw Anna's newest blog entry and it said that she hoped people wouldn't forget about Jack Donaldson, how could I not smile. This boy all of about 12 1/2 years old with his beautiful brown eyes has taught me some very valuable life lessons. He strengthened my relationship with God and for that I am truly eternally grateful. That's not only a friend, that's a guardian angel.
Thank you Jack Donaldson
If you would like to help the Donaldson family, please go to Anna's blog at http://www.aninchofgray.blogspot.com/ for more information.