My Blessings by
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November 26 was my father’s birthday and we always celebrated it on Thanksgiving.   Every year my mother hosted with our extended family around the table,  and after the turkey and the fixings there was always a birthday cake,  and toasts to my dad.   He was an especially wonderful soul,  and it’s not hyperbole to say he was much beloved by everyone who knew him.   (See Saying Farewell to a Special Guy,  Six Pack,  Turkey and Trimmings with Flu Shot,   and  My Dad and the Word Processor)

But as a child I’m sure I took my father,  as well as my mother,  my sister,  and the grandparents,  aunts and uncles I adored all for granted.    They’re gone now and their memories are blessings,  but I hope they knew how grateful I was for each of them.   (See Call Me by Their Names)

I’ll remember them again while giving thanks for my loving  husband and son,  for my wonderful cousins and friends,   for the bustle of the city and the beauty of the countryside,  and for hearth and home.

And this year I’ll also give thanks for the health care workers on the front line,  and the scientists behind the scenes fighting the pandemic.   And I’ll be grateful most of all for the good health of those I love,  and the promise of better days ahead.

Dana Susan Lehrman 

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Thanksgiving, Gratitude


  1. Khati Hendry says:

    A lovely memory of your dad, and it reminded me that my father was born on November 17, and would have been 100 this year. How wonderful that your Thanksgiving is always associated with that great reason for thanks, along with all the other reasons.

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    Ah, Dana, my dad’s birthday was Nov. 23 (he’d be 108 this year) and his birthday frequently fell ON Thanksgiving. In fact, I couldn’t afford to come home from Brandeis for T-Day my first two years (I spent it with Patti Zussman; John COULD afford to come home, so just the two of us hung out in Boston, she cooked, we had a blast). But Dad’s 60th birthday fell ON Thanksgiving Day my Junior year, so I came home and there was a big party with all his family. It was so much fun. It was also my brother’s first year home from Israel after two years abroad (he was at Hebrew Union College), so really special.

    I understand entirely how your family celebrated your father and how that all felt. Also, feeling gratitude for the caregivers, scientists and front line workers during the pandemic. Thanks for reminding us of all those dedicated, burnt-out people who have given so much of themselves.

  3. John Shutkin says:

    A lovely story, Dana. And you join a number of us — including me — who, sadly, took our parents and other loved ones for granted. I am glad you can look back and be thankful now. And certainly those people and the things you express thanks to in your last paragraph are ones we can all agree on — and hope for.

  4. Laurie Levy says:

    Amen, Dana! My daughter’s birthday is November 26, so Thanksgiving was always my family holiday to host. I agree I was also guilty of taking the now-gone generation for granted. Now that I am the matriarch, I have greater empathy for them. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. You written a thanksgiving speech worthy of the head of the table. Cheers. I was particularly moved by and appreciative of your call to the healthcare workers who are struggling so bravely to bring us through this crisis. Indeed, my stepson, Jake, who is an ICU doctor in rural Oregon worked through the holiday with a flood of the unvaccinated crusaders still advocating the freedom to infect others and die. But here’s to the bustle of the city and the beauty of the countryside. Lovely sentiment!

  6. Marian says:

    Wonderful tribute, Dana, and a reminder how all of us took our elders for granted. My grandfather’s birthday was around Thanksgiving and I cherish those celebrations I remember as a small child. Let’s hear it for the matriarchs!

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