Moving On

Rustie, Mom and Me sometime in 1989

It’s been a while since I posted, for a number of reasons. I won’t bore you by listing them all, but the main one was simple indecision. With all the subjects I could blog about, which should I choose?

Thanksgiving was an obvious theme, but everybody was doing it, and I don’t like being redundant. Besides, I contributed to that discussion in the other blog of which I’m a part.

Thinking I might come at it from a more historical perspective (Thanksgivings past rather than what I’m thankful for today), I started looking through old photos, searching for a picture of a Thanksgiving from my childhood.

I have plenty of snapshots in my mind. One is of my mom, young and dark-haired, in dress and apron, setting the turkey on the table.  She wasn’t known for her cooking skills, but at Thanksgiving, she shone. (Until after her in-laws had passed and she no longer felt she had to impress anyone. That’s when she started serving abominations like turkey ham.) But clear as my memories are, I couldn’t find any photos – not without spending more time at it than I wanted, anyway.

When that plan fell through, I considered discussing the act of giving thanks. Today’s school kids learn about the Pilgrims and Indians, but are they taught that the Pilgrims thanked God for His provision?

How many families gathered last Thursday and enjoyed one another’s company, the food on the table, and the football on TV, without ever thanking anyone for any of it?

But no, whining about people’s attitudes goes against my resolve to complain less and praise more, so I rejected that topic too.

I could have blogged about Black Friday. I considered a discussion about self-publishing. And I contemplated writing about birthdays.

Our only son, our third child, was born the day before Thanksgiving in 1985. Sometimes his birthday falls on the holiday itself, and we used to call him our little turkey. By now, though, he’s neither little nor a turkey; he’s a fine young man of which we’re all proud.

Little Artie

While reminiscing about his birth, I realized that if he hadn’t been born on the holiday weekend, we wouldn’t have had our fourth child, either. Money wasn’t abundant, and kids are expensive; so now that we had them in both sexes, we asked the doctor to do a tubal ligation. He couldn’t, though, because no non-emergency procedures could be done during the holiday. “When you get home, call my office and we’ll schedule one,” he told us.

After further consideration, though, my husband and I decided not to be so hasty. We’d leave our options open. Nineteen months later, I delivered one more little option – an unexpected but delightful blessing. But it never occurred to me until yesterday that Rustie wouldn’t have joined our family if her brother had been born on a different day.

While I ruminated on these things, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the birthday came and went, all without comment on my blog.

Isn’t that a picture of life? I was going to… I’d planned to… I always intended… But before we know it, the moment is gone.

Looking through old photos reinforced the thought. We can capture a moment on film, but the clock doesn’t stop; the moments keep ticking.

Failing to decide is itself a decision. What decision does this moment call for?

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