Author: Campbell, Bruce

This Year's Day Before Thanksgiving Column

Since I write the Wednesday Welcome Column, every year I get the prime spot at Thanksgiving time.

This Thanksgiving, my family and I will be giving thanks for the presence of my mother, who has come through some serious threats to her health just a few days ago, and there was real fear that her chair would not be occupied tomorrow. Thank you [insert deity here], from the bottom of my heart. It will be my great honor to pass her the gravy tomorrow.

Everyone’s lot in life, at any given Wednesday Before Thanksgiving is different, of course. Sometimes things to be thankful for are harder to conjure up, but I’m here to tell you – there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for, and folks who understand this lead the lives we’d all like to lead.

There’s a great scene in the movie “Young Frankenstein” where Dr. Frankenstein (FRONK-en-STEEN) and Igor (EYE-gore) are digging up a body at a cemetery. “What filthy work!” exclaims Frankenstein.

“Oh, I don’t know”, said Igor cheerfully. “Could be worse!”

“How could it POSSIBLY be worse?” demands Frankenstein, disgusted.

“It could be raining”, replies Igor (just before it starts raining).

It has been said that by age 40, we all have the faces we deserve. Genetics and luckmay bless us with preternatural beauty we don’t didn’t earn or don’t deserve in our youth, but by 40, our faces accurately reflect those years. And you can tell from looking at someone’s face at that age if they smile more often than not – it’s sort of baked on by then.

Joining us also at our dinner table tomorrow will be a gentleman whose face has worn many, many smiles, and he keeps adding to the count. Let’s see, if he smiles 5 times a day (a very conservative estimate), he has racked up over 165,000 smiles in his 90+ years. He is my son-in-law’s grandfather, MacDougal J. Nisbet – known to me as “Mac”.

Mac looks younger than his 90 years, I guess, but he’d still admit he’s an old guy. He’s pretty spry for his age, but he’s not going to be out climbing any mountains or wrestling alligators.
What makes Mac wonderful is not simply living to be his age – it’s his enthusiasm and ready smile. He delights in the company of friends and family, and his charm is truly infectious. Now, you might think “Well of course he’s happy – at his age, every day is a gift!”. Well, you’re right, but Mac is one of those people who knew that every day is a gift well before he turned gray.

Mac’s life is blessed – but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t suffered personal tragedies or loss in those 90 years – of course he has. But if some family members or friends are no longer around, well, there’s always new friends, and new family members to delight in, and this is true for all of us, if we care to consider this. If you do consider this, you will smile, and this will help define the face you show to the world. And – don’t forget this – your smiles will give your friends and family something to be thankful for, no matter what.

Posted:  11/24/2010

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