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‘Twas the day after Thanksgiving and all through the house

not a creature was shopping…. STOP this doggerel! Esh, not another parody! Change the Armenian word in that last sentence to a South African exclamation and you get the exasperated “Eish, another parody!” Clement C. Moore probably spins in his grave at the many humorous and painful parodies of “A Visit from Saint Nicholas.” (The Web gives long life to those takeoffs, parodies, and other efforts that should have been short-lived.)

I’m not shopping today and I’m not selling. I am continuing to reflect on the past year and the processes and gifts of life. Some of my sense of gratitude comes from a new baby in the family, a new job for another family member, a son safe from an Army tour in Afghanistan, a happy marriage.

From a much different perspective, I’m also grateful for the medical care during my four hospitalizations and the ways in which the doctors found an answer to my falls. A very simple answer: my heart was stopping for 8-10 seconds and then it would restart itself. Because the stoppages did not happen during medical exams, no one knew what was happening. Finally an internal monitor was installed to record every heartbeat and thus the discovery. For doctors and nurses and medical facilities, I’m thankful. I’m also thankful for those friends who cared for me before the ambulance arrived when I fell on concrete steps in downtown Greenville, breaking my nose and doing other damage.

Dag Hammarskjold wrote in Markings, his posthumously published journal, a simple prayer:

For all that has been—Thanks! / To all that shall be—Yes!

During the last year, I’ve prayed those words often. They remain at the heart of my Thanksgiving-day after Thanksgiving-pre-birthday celebration.

Shalom to all.