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Living in the present

Thanksgiving memories help create focus and purpose for the future

Major holidays like Thanksgiving naturally make you think about family, childhood memories and the gifts of love and togetherness of past holidays.

It has been a tough year for me. Both of my parents passed away. My father lost his battle with Alzheimer’s disease and a couple of months later my mother lost her battle with Parkinson’s disease. Our focus in the magazine this month is Alzheimer’s families and how they cope with this sad disease (page 24).

As we enter the holiday season, I have a hole in my life. No more picking up the phone to talk about football. No more visits discussing the grandchildren. No more laughs. No more hugs. All that is left are the memories and photographs that I now cherish. 

Thanksgiving was a wonderful time when I was growing up. I loved waking up on those mornings in my house with the smell of turkey and pumpkin pie. My mother loved the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and we would watch every minute while she continued to work hard making a wonderful meal. Dad would make the patented Perry potato salad. My aunt would bring the deviled eggs. Those afternoons were perfect with our family sharing a meal and sharing time together.

After the stuffing and pumpkin pie were finished, my brother and I would watch some football. My dad and uncle would go outside in the cool air and enjoy smoking a cigarette. After some time passed, we would convene again for a little more pie, coffee and Pepsi. After a wonderful day, we would hug and look forward to the upcoming Christmas season, when we would do it all again.

I miss those days. So, as we enter the holidays and spend time together, I ask that you to try to avoid the distractions of the season and be fully present with the ones you love.

I found out this year that those moments are fleeting, and I will appreciate the ones now a little more. My wife, daughters and friends are the world to me, and I promise to be engaged and live life filled with focus and purpose.

May you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving.


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