Thanks for the Memory

Thanks for the Memory is a song which actor, comedian and entertainer, the late Bob Hope, performed with actress Shirley Ross. It was written for the film, The Big Broadcast of 1938 which co-starred Hope and Ross. It is a recitation of mostly small but, as it turns out, important moments in their lives:

Thanks for the memory
Of faults that you forgave, rainbows on a wave
And stockings in the basin when a fellow needs a shave
Thank you, so much

As we prepared for this year’s celebration of Thanksgiving, we found time to think a little more about what we are thankful for. I understand that for some it is a day of parades and football. For some it is a day of preparation for tomorrow’s big battle – Black Friday Shopping! For others it will be a day of sadness, the first holiday after the loss of a spouse or other loved one.

There is nothing wrong with parades and football, or even shopping for the pure sport of it. It is natural to grieve a recent loss, or perhaps one not so recent, of a person whose memory is precious to us. Thanksgiving is a day set aside for remembrance.

Some memories, such as when we were born again, redeemed from our sin and gained peace with God, are huge moments of course – blessings for which we will be forever thankful. Then there is the day 52 years ago when Joy and I met. The day three years later when we married. Good memories! And yes, the memories of my “faults that she forgave” and her “stockings in the basin when a fellow needs a shave.”

I like to recall a Black Friday shopping outing Joy and our daughter Jennifer took about 18 years ago tomorrow. Our first grandson Nathan was about 6 months old. Jennifer wanted to take part in the annual Black Friday shopping melee with Joy and the other womenfolk (not sure if the word “womenfolk” is allowed today, but it was perfectly fine back then) But she was also quite leery at the prospect of leaving her 6-month-old baby, especially so early in the morning. “First babies” can cause much angst to young mothers. Joy suggested that I was home that day and was – in her memory – quite capable of handling a baby. Jennifer, with a bit of trepidation, asked if I would mind keeping Nathan while they stormed the stores, and did I think I could handle the job. I told her I would be just fine and Nathan would surely survive the ordeal. She asked again if I was certain I could handle it, and I assured her it would be no trouble. After all, he was little and I was big and I knew I could take him in a fight.

The big day came, and she dropped him off at about 4:00 AM. He and I slept for a couple of hours, then I got up, changed and dressed him and fed him breakfast – Blueberry Buckle if I recall. Jennifer and Joy came sweeping in between stores to make sure all was well. While the women were determining the child’s general welfare, I was laying on the sofa with Nathan sitting on my chest. Out of the blue, he leaned down and gave me a big kiss on the lips. It seems utterly unfair that I had the honor of the “First kiss of the First baby,” because we all know that mom and grandma did nearly all the work of caring for the little guy, but I proudly took it.

A very sweet memory. A small one, perhaps, but nearly all of life is made up of small memories which make our lives meaningful. Each day we have is a gift from God. Each breath we take is a gift from God. Each blessing we receive, believers and unbelievers alike, comes about as a result of God’s general gift of grace to all mankind. As Jesus pointed out in Matthew 5:44-45:

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

For each blessing, big or small, we give thanks. Joy and I and all of us at MCOI thank each of you who faithfully support, pray for and encourage us as well as share your lives with us. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration!Ω

Don and Joy Signature 2

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