Thanksgiving time to be grateful for each moment

By Judy Brandon: Local Columnist

Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude for faith, family, friends, health and our wonderful, free country. To add a somewhat different perspective on Thanksgiving, I want to thank God for the gift of time. Every minute of every day should be spent in thankfulness to God for the gift of life and sometimes I take that time for granted.

Let me give three examples.

When my daddy was pastor in Kansas City years ago, we lived in the church parsonage high on a hill right behind where the new church was to be built. Before it was built, Daddy was called to the church here in New Mexico and we left Kansas City. Less than six months later, we learned the parsonage was destroyed in a fire. After some investigation, the police and fire departments found the old heater in the basement had exploded and the parsonage went up in flames. We had lived in that house for two years. The gift of time; we were not there.

We take time for granted in other ways as well.

When I was a child, I always looked forward to visits at my grandparents’ house. They lived in central Arkansas in a home that resembled the nostalgic country calendars of today. Their farm was far removed from city life. Consequently the many varied activities in and around the farm kept Susie and me busy and intrigued.

Of all the things to do and see on the farm, I enjoyed the old sack swing that hung from the century-old oak tree in the front yard. It was just a feed sack stuffed with more feed sacks and hung with a thick rope, but it made a perfect swing.

Susie and I would take turns giving each other a pushes in the old swing. If I were alone, I would just kick off from the tree trunk. Either way, it was wonderful fun. I just knew that every time we visited our grandparents that old sack swing would be there. I reasoned: What was sturdier that a century-old tree?

Yet one summer, we went back to the farm and the old oak tree was gone. A tornado had come through the spring before and ripped it from the ground. The sack swing was gone, the tree was gone and all that was left was a hovel of dirt where the tree had been pulled from its roots. One day I had the swing. The next day I didn’t.

Finally, our family learned about the gift of time 25 years ago the day after Thanksgiving in 1980. Returning from a shopping trip to Lubbock, we found our father had slipped into a coma in the hospital. He died later that night. Little did we know when we left for Lubbock it would be the last time we would see Daddy alive. The years I had with him mean even more to me 25 years later.

The Bible says for every thing there is a season, and among those seasons, a time to be born and a time to die. This Thanksgiving, be grateful for the minutes as well as the days for each moment is a blessing from God.

Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at: