Thanksgiving is past and we are rushing headlong toward Christmas. This Thanksgiving was very special. Most of our family gathered for the traditional Thanksgiving feast—turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, squash casserole, sweet potato crunch, cranberry sauce, yeast rolls, sweet potato pie, wine, iced tea, and various goodies before we sat down for the feast.

The feast was wonderful, but the most wonderful thing was being together with family and good friends. I have so very many things to be thankful for this year that all I could do was to sit and ponder them. I don’t even know where to start listing my thankful thoughts, my mind is reeling with them.

Of all of the holidays, I love Thanksgiving. It’s focus is not on receiving or giving gifts. The focus of Thanksgiving is simply being thankful for what we have; not just the material things, but also the spiritual and the relational things.
I have come to that very comfortable place in life where I don’t desire any more toys, not even an IPad. Toys bring only a transitory joy. As soon as the newness wears off, well, they just are put aside until the upgraded model comes along.

No, rather than being excited about things, I am now much more interested in people. I have thoroughly enjoyed my relationships with other writers on “Like the Dew”. Each time I read a new piece I feel like I know the writer just a bit better and I like that.

Since I have been medically retired, I have had far more time to connect with people, but not face to face. I have met some distant relatives through Facebook, although trust me, I’m extremely careful what I publish there. I have kept connected to friends who are close and far away through email.

One of my most intriguing realizations is that everyone has a story. I have come to love people who I didn’t like initially simply by listening to their story. Each of us has reasons to celebrate and reasons to mourn. We are all wounded in some fashion and all have dysfunctions. But, we also have areas of giftedness, some powerful and some quiet and unnoticed. I love people.

One of the things I have missed the most is being out and about engaging people on social occasions. I am not house bound, but because of my illness my going out is quite limited. One of the things that I enjoy the most happens on those days when I feel okay is a trip to Publix. I never go that I don’t see one or more friends which offers an opportunity for an impromptu visit.

I am indeed thankful for all of the ways that I can stay in touch with the larger world around me. Life is good—Carpe diem.

Jack deJarnette

Jack deJarnette

I am a United Methodist Minister who in June 2008, was placed on incapacity leave due to kidney failure.  My kidneys failed due to immusuppression medications secondary to a heart transplant in 1997. The ministry is my second career having spent 12 previous years at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta as Chief Respiratory Therapist and Technical Director of Life Support Systems at Emory University School of Medicine. I  have a wonderful wife of 45 years, two super children, and four grandchildren. My life has been exciting, challenging, and full of wonder as in my early years I was concerned with saving lives and in my later years saving souls I was graduated  from Georgia Military Academy in 1961 (Woodward Academy). I attended Emory-at-Oxford College, The University of Georgia, Georgia State University, and Emory University for postgraduate work. I received my ministry credentials through the United Methodist Church Course of Study at Emory's candler School of Theology. My Theology is primarily Wesleyan and varies with the particular topic under discussion. I refuse to be labeled either liberal or conservative. My politics are moderate embracing what I hope is the best of all parties. I have a deep love for Christ, the Church, and the United States of America. Bev (my wife) and I are deeply thankful to God for the blessings that have been showered on us throughout our lives.