Blessings can be as unique as families. Most of us raised in the South can quote line and verse of the words our mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles spoke in thanks around the family table. The blessing above is one that is special to my husband’s family because it is the one that his father, Doc (Dr. Donald Carl Turnbull) so often said when the family gathered together for birthdays and holidays. For him it was a prelude to an impromptu prayer of blessing for various members of the family present or far away. His words were always so poignantly sincere, so filled with emotion that there usually were tears behind the closed eyes as we bowed our heads.
The holidays tend to make us think about days gone by – the family, friends, special recipes and traditions we remember. At times like this, we feel all too deeply the void left by an empty chair. This holiday season will be one of those for our family. Doc left us this year on Father’s Day making this prayer for grateful hearts even more appropriate than ever.
This Thanksgiving we pray that this wonderful man – husband, father and grandfather knows just how grateful we are for his life, and for all he gave to his family, his church, his patients and his audience. You see after retiring Doc joined a senior acting troupe, the Seasoned Performers, who presented plays for schools and nursing homes around the Birmingham area, giving the gift of laughter to everyone who saw them.
This Thanksgiving may all of our hearts be grateful for our families, friends, communities and nation. And as for the Turnbull clan, we are grateful most especially for Doc. May the peace of the Lord be with him. Thanks be to God.