Each year, we all celebrate what we call Thanksgiving Day.
The meaning of this day is, with its' turkey dinner, grand parades, and football games, easily allowed to slip from our conscious recognition. Perhaps if we called it Giving Thanks Day, we might all be more inclined to bow our head and acknowledge the blessings that have come our way by God's graciousness.
This coming Thursday will mark for Jim Gray and our family, six months in the care of Hospice. As those of us know, who have experienced the blessing that Hospice can be for a loved one, the first prerequisite for Hospice care is the informed opinion of the medical staff, that our loved one is not expected to live beyond six months.
So November 28 will be a day of Giving Thanks for all the blessings, both great and small, that our family has experienced as we live on with Jim. There will come a day when his life shall cease on this Earthly plane, and that day too will be a Giving Thanks Day in its' own way. But until that day comes, we are grateful for the time that he is comfortable, for the compassion and dedication of all his care providers, and especially for those moments in most every day, when Jim Gray, the creative and thinking man, brightens the room with what he has to say to those around him. Sometimes it surprises us, with the depth of his pondering, and sometimes it is just two simple words: Thank You.
Raised in the South, Jim Gray grew up saying Yes Ma'am, No Sir, and Thank You.
He also grew up with a reverence for God. Living in the midst of all Creation, he could see the beauty in oft times simple subjects, and he spent his working life capturing images, on paper and canvas, that echoed that joy in his heart... his own unique way of saying -
Thank you Lord.
Jim painted many parts of this beautiful country, as well as some of the grand cities of the world. Yet, it was the gardens, that Fran so lovingly built and tended around their home in Knoxville, that he often found inspiration. The old chestnut rails were brought from the former homeplace in Gatlinburg, as were the forsythia and many of the irises. One can live in many places and be quite comfortable, but often it is the addition of a garden that truly makes it home.
May we each find time to recall our blessings, giving thanks as we celebrate
this Thanksgiving Day and the Joy of Life.