Each day is a gift from God. What you do with it is your gift to him. -- T.D. Jakes
I knew it was coming. Sure enough, as I sat at my host’s Thanksgiving table a few years ago, that all-too predictable sensation entered the otherwise Rockwell-esque scene: loss.
That first Thanksgiving without my mother along with the one three years later without my father presented the seemingly impossible challenge of “giving thanks” for a phase of life I wasn’t particularly grateful for. If not for the countless distractions that accompany Christmas with four kids, I probably would have sunk into a pumpkin pie-filled pit of despair.
It was about this same time that I became involved with Massachusetts Citizens for Life. And then I became more involved. And still more. I felt better than I had in years and probably more passionate than at any other time in my life. Others noticed my growing engagement and asked why I’d suddenly done the equivalent of a cannonball into the pro-life swimming pool. “It’s how I’m dealing with grief,” I said.
As I gathered with loved ones this past Thursday, someone asked what I was thankful for. After rattling off the obligatory “health, family, food,” I added, “and definitely MCFL, for the opportunity to return the gifts my parents gave to me.”
In that moment, I realized grief has nothing to do with my commitment to MCFL. It’s all about gratitude.
One of life’s unsolvable mysteries is why loss so often threatens to sour the otherwise sweet holiday season. You have lost along the way, too, whether it was your parents, grandparents, siblings, children, or lifelong friends. Maybe you’re living through the loss of a marriage as you read this. Despite the welcome distractions of Black Friday, Jimmy Stewart, and the first snowstorm, there’s something about loved ones' absences that stings worse during these six weeks.
I invite you to transform your grief into gratitude. Give your time by volunteering at MCFL. March with us in Washington, D.C., in honor of a loved one who can’t make the trip. Become a member and give your voice to the voiceless. Make a gift in the name of a cherished friend. Or simply add your name to our online petition in opposition of the ROE Act.
Thanksgiving may be over, but I would like to share my gratitude for you. Getting to know MCFL supporters like you has been one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. I can’t wait to continue our work together in this season when life itself is the reason for giving.
Stay safe in the snow, and have a good week.