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Thankful For the Mess by Jamie Zirkle



“Dirty dishes prove I feed my family, full trash cans mean I clean up after their messes, messy floors mean I let my children have fun, piles of unfolded laundry means I keep my family in clean clothes, wet bathrooms means I bathe my kids!” -The Skit Guys


     I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to taking my family for granted. I assume that they will always be there and that there will always be a tomorrow and in doing so I tend to miss out on today.


    My mom passed away during Thanksgiving weekend in 1995. She was 47. HIV had entered her body through a tainted blood transfusion in the early 80’s. I would travel thousands of miles just to see her again. I would introduce her to my wife and son. I would show her my college degree that she saw me begin. I would tell her of some of my unwise choices and ask her advice on ones that are pending. I would hold her hand a little longer on that last night.


   Mostly I would just tell her that I love her.


   My grandmother passed away just a few months ago. She was 93. She had a few strokes and the last one had the upper hand. Her funeral service was sparsely attended because she outlived her peers. She lived a full life. This will be our first Thanksgiving without her.


   There is no tomorrow. There is just today.


   I know that Thanksgiving will be an emotional time for us all on many levels. The house will be too loud or it will be too quiet. There will be too much food or there will not be enough food. There will be one less plate to feed or there will be one too many to feed.


   But, as you gather around the table to give thanks perhaps just pause for a minute and thank God for the mess that is about to take place. Thank Him for the messy dishes, for the full trash cans, for the messy floors, for the piles of laundry, and for the wet bathrooms. It means that your house was full, people actually ate whatever that dessert was, and you can paint over the crayon marks.


  Be thankful for the mess!  Happy Thanksgiving!!




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