Thanksgiving has come and gone and as I took my morning walk today, I remained thankful for all kinds of things. In particular, I noted how grateful I am to have my mind and my memories.
What prompted this line of thought was the news that beloved children’s author, Robert Munsch (I’ll Love You Forever, Mortimer, Thomas’ Snowsuit, The Paperbag Princess, and so many more modern classics) has been diagnosed with dementia. This means that eventually his many memories and the stories he has created over the years will be gone to him.
This made me sad, and it made me appreciate my own memories even more. Many of my earliest recollections involve my Dad whom I loved and love dearly. He’s been gone for several years now and I still miss him every single day.
I remember, as a young farm girl not yet in school, being Dad’s sidekick. I rode shotgun in the truck as he hauled cattle to the auction mart or the community pasture. I pumped the handle on the big grease gun as he readied the combine at harvest time. It felt like a beautiful partnership.
Every morning of every day, Dad would pull on his work clothes – usually his overalls, sometimes his parka, depending on the season and the tasks ahead. Then he’d head outside to take care of the chores.
Even when Dad no longer actively farmed and no longer had livestock or fields to tend, he’d still don his work clothes and take on the tasks of the day. In his later years on the farm doing the chores meant feeding the barn cats, defending the farmyard against the attack of skunks and badgers, weeding the garden, or tinkering around the shop. No matter what was on the list, Dad could be found outdoors doing the chores.
I think of him most every morning when I pull my clothes on to head outside for a walk. Getting some physical exercise is part of my daily ‘chores’. But, more than that, it’s a way of being present to the changing seasons of the world and to remember with appreciation my Dad and his ever faithful way of showing up.
May all of you continue to be blessed with clear minds and treasured memories of your own – and find yourselves thankful for them all.