Giving Thanks: My Dad’s Story
What are you thankful for? Or a better question: Are you thankful? Thankfulness is a state of being. It’s a mentality that you choose no matter what’s going on around you. When you are appreciative, you’re coming from a sense of abundance – abundance of resources, abundance of friendship and love, abundance of what you can give.
Are you thankful for the wealth of yourself, the wealth of smiles and laughter, the wealth of your thoughts, the wealth of your experience and wisdom? How about the wealth of opportunities where you can make a difference for someone else? A kind word? An acknowledging smile? The generosity of your listening? A compliment that changes someone’s day? Who gets more in the long run from your bigheartedness? You or the receiver? If you think it’s the receiver, try ‘giving’ yourself to more people more often. You may change your mind.
Giving Thanks: My Dad’s Story
My 95 year old dad is a WWII veteran and he’s very proud of the time he spent in Burma working on some of the first planes that were used in warfare. This September he was invited along with many other veterans from the Atlanta, GA area to visit the War memorials in Washington DC. This was an all-expense-paid trip for veterans of all wars to have the chance to see what their country has built to commemorate their service. The volunteer group organizes the day, assigns individual companions to the older vets, pays for everything from their fund raising, provides a photographer, and arranges for celebrity treatment once they arrive in Washington DC. The day starts at 4am when they board buses to go to the airport and ends at midnight when they return to Atlanta and their families pick them up. A very long intense day.
My father has emphysema, some heart problems, plenty of arthritis, hearing problems and some Alzheimer’s. But he wanted to go to the WWII memorial in the worst way. He looked forward to it for months and hasn’t stopped talking about it since. He saw on the memorial the names of his fallen colleagues and cried for them one more time. He delighted in all the people who said ‘thank you for your service’. I swear he wears his WWII veteran’s cap continuously so people can personally thank him for his defense of our country. He had a great time on the plane and buses talking with all the other vets. His companion told us he was the life of the party.
I am so thankful that he served in the war and contributed his service, that he feels so much pride for his contribution, that people respect and appreciate him and he gets to experience that appreciation. I am thankful to the organization that put this trip together with such care and organization that it was an exhilarating unforgettable experience for a sometimes cantankerous forgetful 95-year old.
Thank you, Honor Flight Network. http://www.honorflight.org/ If you have an aging veteran in your life or would like to contribute to making a difference to vets like my father, I invite you to visit their website.