Paul  Weyrich

No other nation celebrates Thanksgiving Day as we do. The Pilgrims gave thanks for having found their new life. The Indians, who never had seen the likes of those early settlers, shared their bounty with the new arrivals. But underlying this festival of thanks was the recognition that God gives us His blessings every day and deserves our thanks.

I hope readers of this commentary had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as I did. It was out of central casting. My wife, Joyce, who had prepared for last Thursday for days, was up working before the crack of dawn. She was almost childlike in her bubbly enthusiasm for Thanksgiving despite the fact that she did most of the work. She cooked non-stop until early in the afternoon when my son Steve, his wife, Emily, and their four children arrived. We have eight other grandchildren by two married daughters but distance and illness kept their families away. One daughter and son-in-law live in Okinawa, where they gave thanks with others stationed at the Air Force Base there. The oldest of their four boys, at the least, always should remember this Thanksgiving. My other daughter and son-in-law planned to travel to Richmond, where his relatives reside but, alas, two of their children got mighty sick. They could neither make the trip to Richmond nor come to our home.

While both families greatly were missed, there sometimes are hidden blessings. Had all twelve grandchildren celebrated Thanksgiving with us the grandchildren would have been pre-occupied with one another. They wouldn’t have known that adults were around. Not so on this Thanksgiving at our home.

The day before Thanksgiving Joyce had reminded me that our oldest grandson, eight-year-old Matthew, was not interested in trains and that although I had a newly improved train layout in the train room I was not to pressure him into staying there. The train room was built for my son Andrew, who was in the seventh grade when we moved into our beautiful newly built home. He liked to spend time with his dad either riding the real trains or running the model trains. Alas, once Andrew entered high school he was so busy with activities that he had no time for trains. The train room sadly was neglected for many years. Then the grandchildren were born.

Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
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