Thanksgiving Tradition

My Thanks­giv­ing tra­di­tion, that I want to share with you, is to read a let­ter writ­ten by my grand­fa­ther, Dr WW (Buck) Jones, to my grand­moth­er, Ade­na, when he was a chap­lain in the ser­vice dur­ing WWII.  I am thank­ful for them.

Rev­erend WW (Buck) and Ade­na Jones

Thanks­giv­ing Day 1945

For some rea­son on this Thanks­giv­ing day my thoughts have picked up that lit­tle phrase some­one wrote us when we were mar­ried.  “May there be just enough clouds to make the sun­set beau­ti­ful.”  Of course it would be quite a shal­low view of life if we thanked God only for the bright and pleas­ant things.  For this would be such a dread­ful place in which to live with­out the clouds and the rain.  So I’m espe­cial­ly thank­ful today that I have you for my sun­shine, and we can look out all our win­dows at the clouds, which will make our sun­set beau­ti­ful, and that you will always be there to warm my heart when it is cold, to be my strength when I would fal­ter, to hold my hand when I have lost the way.

All my reams of paper couldn’t con­tain the  mer­cies that I’m thank­ful for today, for they pass my imag­i­na­tion in a nev­er-end­ing parade.  the rain of yes­ter­day, the bright sun­shine of today; the lit­tle ponds of ice I saw out­side this morn­ing, a shel­ter warm as toast; mem­o­ries, rich and mel­low, embroi­dered with hearty friend­ship and cama­raderie; ene­mies — and the joy of being able not to hate them; cool water from a spring on a long, hot hike; good food that makes one com­fort­able inside; flit­ting glimpses out of the past that now seems so far away, so much apart of anoth­er world that one gives pause to think-could it be so and could that have been me?

Rec­ol­lec­tions of a home and fam­i­ly that once was-was that anoth­er day, too? — and I piece them all togeth­er like the pat­terns of a kalei­do­scope, some ugly col­ors, and some gay; for all the her­itage that is mine- the good I try to use and the bad to hide away; for all the fel­low­ship of home as it used to be; for a piece of blue gran­ite as a head­stone for a grave that in God’s inscrutable way had to be so ear­ly; for the lull of the cold wind that whis­tles through the eaves; for the killing frost that beto­kens a sleep­ing world; for bud­ding trees, the yel­low cro­cus, “The first fruits of them that slept.”

Grand­mom­mie & Dad­dy­Buck

That God is in our sor­rows and hard­ships no less than in our joys; there at the cen­ter of our reli­gion, is a cross; and “From the cross the radi­ance stream­ing adds lus­ter to the day.”  For the bless­ing of lib­er­ty and uni­ty; for our right to live in rea­son­able free­dom and peace; for all this strange, baf­fling, mys­te­ri­ous life that he has giv­en us; that we can still say with that ear­ly saint, chrysos­tom, just before he died at the hands of soldiers-”God be praised for every­thing!”  that noth­ing “Shall be able to sep­a­rate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  thanks be…for his unspeak­able gift!

That in his wis­dom he gave me you; that he made me use my heart instead of my stub­born head; for the friends that love us  both, and our love for them; for the bright moon on a hot summer’s night; that love­ly feel­ing you give me which is unspeak­able; for the alamo, our laugh­ter, our con­fer­ences; for your tears and mine; for your thought­ful­ness, your kind­ness, your under­stand­ing; your lov­ing me- and our answered prayers; for your kiss­es, your embraces, your pret­ty lit­tle smile, that mer­ry twin­kle in your some­times blue- grey eyes; your teas­ing me-my shout­ing.

Yes i’m glad that I’m com­ing back to you soon; that I can talk to you on this thanks­giv­ing day on the phone; that we have “shim”- yours and mine-our own flesh and blood; our future, per­haps some­times fraught with sor­row and tragedy, but always over­shad­owed by our great love-for my dreams of you; for your great heart; and for you just being you, my love; and on this thanks­giv­ing day I pledge anew my heart to you and to god-

I adore you, you dar­ling…

For­ev­er Yours,

Buck

 

 

 

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