Something might be amiss in me as I approach my 85th Thanksgiving.
For so many Americans, this holiday is a day about family and the love we share. Happy memories, Funny stories. Breaking bread together, sharing great food at the same table. Most of all, giving thanks.
Recently, though, I find that as I begin to anticipate this day traditionally filled with love and family, my thoughts keep getting tugged in another direction: The captive children in cages at the border. I can’t get them out of my mind. What do they have to be thankful for, many of them having been forcibly torn from their mother’s arms? What of their distraught parents, who endured having their children taken from them?
How important to a child is the safe harbor of a parent’s arms? I can’t imagine how I would have felt as a child if I had been forcibly separated from my parents. These are people who loved me unconditionally, in spite of my flaws. Without them, I would have been hopelessly vulnerable.
Some wise and famous people have remarked on the love between parent and child. Bob Keeshan, for many years the beloved character Captain Kangaroo on television, said this: “Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, movement and action has an effect. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a child than the parent.” I agree. From author J.K. Rowling, these wise words: “Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark to have been loved so deeply.” Such love protects us for the rest of our lives, she adds.
How important to you is the love of your mother and father? I am so very thankful for mine. This Thanksgiving, I can’t stop thinking of the parentless children at the border.