Thank you


“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” An oft-reused phrase from Meister Eckhart, and perhaps too over used, but it fits my mood.

Grandchild number 3 was born today, a grand way to punctuate Thanksgiving and reason enough to say “thank you” to God. While there is plenty of stress awaiting me next week, it’s good to pause and consider how lucky or blessed I am, whichever way you want to think about it.

Audrey holds Tristan at St Luke's Hoptial Nov 27

Audrey holds Tristan at St Luke's Hoptial Nov 27

Tristan Lee Sebers chose today to make his appearance and was born shortly after 3 in the afternoon. Nice timing—waited until Thanksgiving Day had passed, but still gave the grandparents a day off to watch Nikayla for Katy and Wyatt. Most of all, mother and son came through the ordeal well.

It’s been a Thanksgiving rich in grandchildren. Elizabeth is visiting from Ames, and staying an extra night due to Tristan’s timely arrival. Nikayla is here with us for several days too, as Katy is in St. Luke’ with Tristan and Wyatt is spending virtually all of his time there too.

I feel very lucky that three grandchildren have safely entered this world. I know from experience that pregnancy can be a nerve-racking time, and, while it’s a little easier when it’s not your spouse who is pregnant, still, awaiting that inevitable passage is not an easy time.

So, number one thank you, God. Thank you for the gift of healthy grandchildren.

There are many other blessings to count, too. Just a few:

• Cate included “siblings” in her Facebook countdown to Thanksgiving. Ditto.
• It’s sad that Saminu wasn’t with us—but his new family seems very nice and happy to have him, which is, again, another reason to be thankful.
• Audrey and I are almost done with an extraordinarily busy fall semester, her as head of the Educational Policies Committee, me as chair of the faculty, all this on top of the ever-changing needs of Audrey’s mother. But, we’re getting near the end and are both sane, so thanks.
• Audrey’s mother made it past Thanksgiving Day, and is at least capable of some communication. We weren’t sure earlier this fall if that would be true, if she would even be alive today. There isn’t a lot to be thankful for when you have a person close to you whose Alzheimer’s Disease is robbing her of her brain functions, but Shirley came back from a zombie-like state, and that’s something to be grateful for. As we saw just a few weeks ago, count any day that she can walk as a blessing, and she’s been walking a lot lately.

Thanksgiving Day, Uncle Ben with little Lizzie

Thanksgiving Day, Uncle Ben with little Lizzie

• Thanksgiving Day was spent with all of the kids save Jon and all of the grandkids save Tristan who was born the next day, and Toni, too. That was a good time. And both the butternut squash/pumpkin pie and pecan pie were delicious. Thanks.
• Thanks for a sometimes emotionally draining but always interesting group of students who works on the newspaper staff at the Mount Mercy Times. Things are never “smooth” at a campus newspaper, but Mount Mercy would be without something important in its campus life if it didn’t have Brian, Kayla, Bob, Biz, Hannah, Mickenna, Erich, Mellette, Zach, Mallory, Jenny and all of the other students who care enough to create a vibrant campus news media.

Most of all, thank you for the gifts of life, health, family and friends. I don’t know if this prayer is enough, but it feels like plenty.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Thank you

  1. Pat

    Hey, Joe! Congratulations on the additions to the family.

    We’re doing Thanksgiving on Sunday, since Mimi’s work on the paper leaves her short of time and energy on Thanksgiving day. She got a call from Jack-in-Iraq, no special news, just a lot of happy babbling. We’ve heard from Gary-in-China, too; he arrived safely and seems to be settling in OK.

    Back to field-testing Brussels sprouts recipes, my contribution to Sunday’s feast.

  2. Amen, bro. Thanks for putting it all in perspective!

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