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H1, H2, & Big Boy Life on the (L)edge

Begun in the aftermath of Katrina, this blog was a way to keep family and friends updated as the family struggled to return to a semblance of normalcy. Now, more than four years later, the memories are still strong, the family is, to some extent, scattered. However, life did go on, and this is our story.

November 19, 2005

Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend Reflection

It's the Saturday before Thanksgiving and so I'm thinking it is a good time to stop and review the past year and reflect on how God has been active in our lives and what it is we have to be thankful for.

I guess first and foremost I'm thankful for a loving and forgiving God that has showered me with countless blessings throughout my life. First among those blessings is my wonderful wife, who stands by me through thick and thin, and who was a pillar of love and strength to my children growing up while I spent so much time away. I'm thankful for my children, who have grown up to be bright, caring, responsible adults. I'm thankful for the spouses and special friends of my kids, for how they've accepted us as family and for their loving our children. I'm thankful for two (yes, only two) beautiful grandchildren. I'm especially thankful for the fact that my kids like one another and do things together and share time and talent with each other.

I'm thankful for my brother and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins and their families (and Linda's too), who manage to love and support my family and me, inspite of me! I pray that God will bless them in abundance as He has always done me. I also thank God for parents who raised me and my brother and sisters with love.

I'm thankful for good health, continued employment, and for minimal damage to our property after Hurricane Katrina. I still grieve for those who lost loved ones and homes and possessions. My continued prayer for them is that they find peace and hope in God's love.

I'm greatful for the opportunity to serve God's children as a deacon in the Catholic church. I'm thankful for Fr. John Arnone who is, without a doubt, the best pastor and friend a person could ask for. It is a privilege and honor to be assigned to his parish as deacon. I thank God for His gift to me of the diaconate community in New Orleans, a wonderful group of folks, full of God's love and servants to His people.

I'm thankful for Archbishop James Odongo of Tororo, Uganda, a wise and holy man. I'm thankful for Fr. Deogratias Ekisa, Fr. Godfrey Okello, Fr. Daniel Ochom, Frs. Andrew and Athanasius and all the priests and religious that bring the Word to the people of Tororo.

I thank God for the welcoming warmth of the pastor and parishioners of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Memphis. It is a pleasure to be a part of their community, if only for a short (hopefully) time.

And, I thank God for Mickey and Beverly. I'm sure that they are God's reward to me for accepting his invitation to become a deacon in His Church. I am eternally grateful for their love, inspiration, and fellowship and friendship.

Looking back, I don't know how I've ever had time to be angry or upset or lonely when I can see how greatly blessed my life has been. I look forward to seeing New Orleans rise up out of the ashes and become once again a great city, a better city, with its roots firmly planted in the knowledge and care of a generous and loving God.

I end this litany of thanksgiving with a prayer that through the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we may all learn to live, and to love as He did, being faithful to His (and our) Father in heaven.

I remain yours faithfully in Christ, husband, father, uncle, brother, friend, lover, deacon,

Dean

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