Mostly, I am thankful

I drank a beer tonight before I came home from work.

It was my third, 13 hour shift in a row. I thanked my employees for another awesome job, wished them goodnight and then I sat on a counter and just drank a beer without really thinking of much at all, except for one thing. I thought about how thankful I am for my life.

There is a lot of fear lingering around our world right now. We fear for our loved ones and our livelihoods and our communities. It feels like someone just flipped a switch and suddenly scrambled up everything that was safe and good. Four days ago I wasn’t sure as to whether or not I would be able to stay in business. I fear for my parents and I fear for my staff who are hard working fathers and mothers and sons and daughters. I fear for my wife who is, as a nurse, fighting the front line of this pandemic. I fear for my children, as I always do. I have been fearful.

Then I made a decision.

I decided to not be afraid. My parents have self quarantined which is a wise decision as they are in an elevated risk category. We face time them at night. Today my kids were able to wave to Grandpa from the sidewalk in front of his house. In this time, I hope to teach my boys about the value of service to others. This time, I have decided, is not a time to be fearful but a time to be brave.

There is a sensation that only parents can appreciate. It is the feeling of responsibility that we feel for our children when they are sick. We sacrifice our rest and our own well being for our children. My thoughts on this pandemic is that this same instinctual obligation must be applied to our elders and society at large. This is to me, the most beautiful of sentiments.

To love is to sacrifice and to sacrifice is to be thankful.

I am thankful for the opportunity to be of service; to be able to shop for my parents, to be able to feed my community, to be able to employ my staff and to be able to educate my children.

Most of all, I am thankful to God for while I do not understand his plan, I have faith that it exists for a reason.

I drank my beer and I really tried to meditate on this feeling of gratitude.

I then came home to the sound of my children’s, horrified screams. They were fully immersed in a game of “zombie mom” with my wife. It’s a game they play at night where my wife pretends to be the animated undead and chases them throughout the house. This is my favorite sound in the whole world.

I am choosing to not be afraid. I am too busy being thankful. Where there is adversity, I will triumph. Where there is despair I will be hopeful. Where there is fear l will love. Above all else I will love. It is through this that I feel as though I may understand God. It is through this that I am thankful.