By Stan Welch
Well, it’s been two weeks since millions and millions voted to give Barack Obama four more years. I think I’m starting to come to grips with that. I actually caught myself chuckling at something on the news the other day. Of course, it was just a picture of Nancy Pelosi, or as I call her, Skeletor. That always makes me laugh. Plus I feel better because I don’t look like that.
But Thanksgiving is upon us, and I am not so shattered, nor so crass, as to forget the many blessings I have. I am thankful for my mother’s continued presence among us. There were times this year when that seemed less certain than ever before.
But remarkable medical care, prayers from the many who know and love her, and the refusal of my sisters to let her go made certain that she will join us once again at the Thanksgiving table.
I am thankful for the general health of my family, and especially for that of my son. I have a friend who has been in Seattle for over a month, awaiting a heart for her 24 year old daughter – a heart from someone who has died and left behind a healthy heart to save another’s life. I cannot imagine what she is going through, but I am grateful for my son’s health.
I am thankful that I will be sitting at a table with my family as we feast on the fruits of our labors. I am thankful that we have labors to produce those fruits. There are millions among us who do not. And there are many who will eat only because of the kindness and charity of their fellow Americans.
And shamefully, in America, there are many who will not eat at all. One in six children goes hungry in this country. I suppose we should be thankful it’s only one in six. That is likely to change in the next four years – and not for the better.
Monday morning, I was in the basement of the Williamston Presbyterian Church, and there were easily forty people from families waiting for assistance from that church’s food bank. Several hundred dollars worth of food was received that morning, to be distributed to those families. Most of it would be gone in just a couple of hours, leaving the shelves almost bare for the next time.
A few cans of goods, some pasta and rice, soap and bathroom tissue – the basic necessities of life, provided by the kindness of others. And there are many such food banks across the Upstate and across the nation. They struggle daily to provide sustenance to those less fortunate.
And this is in a nation that already has forty three million people on food stamps. So as you sit down to a sumptuous meal among your loved ones and family Thursday, give thanks for what you have and remember those who have so much less.