November 23, 2011 - I've been writing Jottings for over 50 years. That means 50 Thanksgivings I could have written about. But as I looked back to see if there was one I could repeat for this Thanksgiving, I found none.
This year as I thought about writing this holiday column my mind went quickly to my wife, Hazel.
She's been gone since February, 2001. And, as the songs and poems say, gone but not forgotten.
Thanksgiving Days were momentous for us. Major turkey and dressing, cranberries and yams, lemon and pumpkin pies and persuading a young'un to say the blessing.
I suppose it's selfish of me to put Hazel-Jim first, when we have family to be proud of, happy unforgettable memories, valuable friends and reasonable security.
But, that's the way it is.
Those are the emotions I am wrestling with now.
As I have aged, one of the things I've gained is a greater awareness of God. We've grown closer. I talk to Him frequently and selfishly ask Him to help me sleep, relax, and to think positive. To watch over us.
I'm more often reading "New Testament Psalms" given to me by The Gideons during one of my hospital stays. The Lord's Prayer is in there along with helpful passages.
And, it seems like each of these readings brings Hazel even closer.
That can't be wrong, can it?
I write and tell off-color jokes, which probably makes me a sinner, but I acknowledge being a sinner and enjoy bringing smiles to faces, even if the humor is semi-raw.
I know not which way I will go when I die, but I know I have friends in both places.
And therein lies what makes me most thankful this Thanksgiving:
1. A healthy, happy family.
3. Getting nearer to God; and
4. Finding those fond memories of my Hazel.
Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.