Local column: More precious than gold

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week it gives us time to pause, and give thanks for the blessings in our lives, writes Jeffrey B. Lewis.

Few times of the year are more exciting and memorable as the winter holidays. If you and I were to sit down and talk about some of our favorite memories, what would you share with me? I would love to hear all about your family traditions or how you can still smell your mother’s pumpkin pie.

Perhaps we would look through an old photo album and you could tell me the story about how your father or Grandfather served our country overseas and ate Thanksgiving dinner in a fox hole. As we turned the pages, there is a picture of you and your sweetheart at your wedding. You know, the one where she is taking a piece of wedding cake and smashing it in your face? Or the picture of your first Christmas together. With a tear in your eye you point to a picture of a loved one who is no longer with us. These memories, are more precious than gold.

Life is a series of events, good and bad, happy and sad. However these experiences are what define us; they are the glue that binds us to the ones we love.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week it gives us time to pause, and give thanks for the blessings in our lives. There are many things that I am thankful for. I am thankful for my dear wife and my two kids, for the opportunity that we will have this year to all be together for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m thankful for extended family and friends; each one has enriched my life and loves me despite my short comings. I’m thankful for the country I live in and for this great community that has embraced my family.

This past Saturday I witnessed the goodness of friends and neighbors unselfishly giving of their sustenance by donating hundreds of turkeys, boxed and canned goods that will be distributed to families for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

I’m thankful for the Marine Corp Reserve Toys for Tots program. Last year members of our community provided, by donation, 1900 new toys. Their goal is to ensure each child have a new toy on Christmas morning. This year, there are hundreds of families that need assistance. If you and your family would like to provide a new toy this year, there are many drop off locations in Idaho Falls. Please go to 1055thehawk.com and click on the link. Donations will be accepted through Dec. 16 for 2017.

Those needing assistance this year can get applications at the Health and Welfare office in Idaho Falls.

This Thanksgiving and Christmas season I hope we express our love to family and friends and create lasting memories.

Lewis lives and works in Idaho Falls. He is married with two children. You can reach him at jeffreylewisidf@gmail.com.