By Kevin Ryan
Posted on December 24th, 2017
We live in Shaver Lake, California. Fresno is an hour drives away and I make the drive there and back every week or so for shopping or various Aidan medical appointments. Sometimes on the drive I’ll listen to local talk radio, sometimes to Great Courses lectures, and sometimes I’ll listen to music. Anyway the drive each way gives lots of time to thinking about stuff. I kinda like to think. I guess it is innate to my nature. A few weeks ago we drove down to my sister’s for Thanksgiving with my parents, brothers and sister and their families. I started thinking, “What am I thankful for?” Funny I’ve never really thought about that before.
I’ve been so busy lately (work, work, and work) – more busy than I’d really prefer to be – that this is the first time I’ve had to put those thoughts down into words. This should be short (I hope because it is late and I’m tired).
Aidan is alive was the obvious answer for what I’m thankful for. All other concerns shrink before that history of stress/concern/worry that we went through for a few years (and still do occasionally). But what also occurred to me was a person who recently has taken a very powerful office. It was in the 1990s that I read (I think in First Things magazine) that this person seemed to be the antithesis of “Love people, use things” – ie he seemed to be about “Love things, use people.” It struck me a true back then and still does. I don’t think I’ve ever discussed my politic and policy thoughts before; and I still haven’t here, regardless of what I think of this specific guy. Decency matters. if I gave you 4 guesses as to who I voted for in the last Presidential election, you most probably won’t guess correctly. My vote is more precious to me than to those who want it. I’m drifting off topic here – but “Love people” is what stuck in my mind.
So, back to my thoughts as I was driving to Fresno. People matter. Anything that I am thankful for has at the very root cause one thing: people. The next thoughts were to specific individuals that I’ve been blessed enough to have come into my life. And I’m driving and thinking; some songs are playing in the background; and a couple of people from the last year came to mind.
One is a person who lived halfway around the world, who then moved close enough for me to have a drink with, to meet his wife (went to my college at same time as me – we never met that I know), and meet their kids (met their dog too). To hike with. To talk about serious and not serious stuff with over an ale. What can be better?
And the other was a former work acquaintance who became a good friend over the last year. Decent, smart, integrity, fun. With her various thoughts, crafts, and activities, she is probably the most impressive person that I have ever met in my life. Blessed is probably an overused word, but it is truly how I feel so many times. Like there is Someone out there looking out for fragile me and bringing special people into my life to smooth the path.
This post is already longer than I wanted it to be. If in the off chance you happen to stumble upon this blog post and think I’m talking you – yes I am – thank you!
Treasure the decent people in your life because they are the only treasures that matter. And they are eternal.