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Do you remember?

My favorite story about forgetting is about these three elderly ladies.

They are about 85 years old. They got together one day and the first lady said, “I’ll tell you what, my eyesight’s going! I can hardly see.”

The second lady says, “What’s that? My hearing is going. I can hardly hear people.”

The third lady said, “Well, I’m glad I don’t have any of your problems. I’m healthy as can be. Knock on wood! (knock, knock) Hold on, someone’s at the door. I’ll be right back!”

In a speech made in 1863, Abraham Lincoln said, “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” (Source: “The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln)

This month our nation pays tribute to President John F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.

“I remember it as if it were yesterday,” President Bill Clinton told NBC News’ Tom Brokaw earlier this year.

“He meant something to the country and he symbolized the future. And it was as if he was snuffed out.”

“It’s 50 years later and it’s also a moment to look forward to the future,” Thomas Putnam, executive director of Kennedy’s presidential library, told the AP. “We want our tone to be respectful and we want it to have a certain reverence, but we also want it to be hopeful and end on this notion of what JFK stood for.”

November is one of those months that can be used as a reminder of things that are important. It is a season when we can get together and share memories with family and friends.

It can be a time to remember where we come from and how blessed we still are.

It can be a time to call that someone we haven’t heard from for a while or to invite a neighbor over for dinner.

It could be an opportunity to restore a broken relationship with someone we used to be close to.

Together with my wife and two sons, we have taken evenings during this month to just watch videos of our sons’ births, birthday parties, vacation trips, soccer, football games and much, much more.

Now one is 16 and the other 12. We laughed and recalled many of those events as if we were reliving them.

I looked at my family and felt this deep sense of thankfulness. Having those videos available today has allowed us to go back and remember the importance of family, investing time in things that matter, and also taking the opportunity to create memories, traditions and discovering what our priorities are in life.

I found this definition of “remember”: “To be capable of recalling when required; to keep in mind; to be continually aware or thoughtful of; to preserve fresh in the memory; to attend to; to think of with gratitude, affection, respect or any other emotion.”

During this season I recalled many circumstances that were difficult to face.

Some of my best friends passed away (five, to be exact) and I needed to find the strength to deal with hospital and family visitations, funerals and the aftermath of grief. I miss them all.

But I’m also reminded that life keeps its course; every minute counts and I have the opportunity to live and share that life with others.




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