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When this blog goes live, it will be 2 days before Thanksgiving, and I’m writing it on Life Day, November 17th. All of which seems to fit my theme: Thanks.

As always, I have a story for you, it’s not specifically Star Wars-centric, so I appreciate your indulgence.  My parents were both in ill health as I grew up. My father had a heart attack when I was 14, and passed away when I was 17 after an extended fight with heart disease and various other ailments. My mother almost ran herself into the ground trying to keep him healthy, and I helped as much as I could, but there was only so much a teenager could do while still trying to keep grades up at school. As a result, within 3 years, my mother’s health also began to go downhill. She had a massive heart attack when I was 21, but bounced back and had a lot of good years after that, for which I am obviously very thankful.

However, her health again began to wane, mostly as a result of age. She hurt her back right before my birthday (in early November) in 2008, and passed away on Thanksgiving Day that same year, Nov. 27th.

Losing a loved one is never easy, and losing someone on a holiday runs the risk of ruining that day for you forever. Thanksgiving presents a unique problem, since it is not on the same date every year, so I get double reminders each year, on the date and on the holiday. My mother and I were very close (as anyone who listens to Talking Toys with Taylor and Jeff can attest), and when she died, rather than losing a parent, I felt as if I had lost a friend. I never know how I’m going to feel from year to year, but the one thing I can ALWAYS count on is feeling thankful. My mother instilled in me the importance of being thankful for what you have rather than bemoaning the things that you lack, and luckily, the lesson seems to have taken hold. Sure, I miss her, but I also find it very easy to recall memories of her that make me literally laugh out loud, and that is a rare gift that I am supremely thankful for. My mother taught me that it’s ok to laugh when bad things happen. Her famous quote was “You may as well laugh as to cry about it,” and I’m a big believer in that sentiment. My mother had a terrific sense of humor, and she loved to laugh, and she passed both gifts on to me, and it helps me to cope with the sad times. You can thank her for the comedic genius you find in this blog each month. Or blame her, depending on your reaction. Either way, she will be happy to take the credit/blame.

Now that I’ve made you all depressed you may ask, “So, uh, yeah, and your point is??”  I’m glad you asked. My point is this: As Thanksgiving is upon us, and the holidays in general, we all see in the media a lot of images of happy families gathering together around a turkey the size of Rhode Island, and the truth is that very few of us really experience the holidays in this way. Another thing my mother passed on to me was the knowledge that family doesn’t necessarily have to share the same bloodline. She was always ready to welcome anyone, regardless of their background or last name. As long as you weren’t a jerk, you were welcome, and you were family. That became important to me as I got older. In the 21st century, family has become more than blood relations. As society becomes more connected via the internet, our social circle grows. Sure, it’s not “the same” as having friends there for you physically, but it does serve to make you feel like a part of a bigger whole. In the last year, my family (as my mother would describe it) has grown. My brother is the only immediate family I have, but my “FriendFamily” is large, and has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to the friendships forged within the Star Wars fan community, mostly through the work of the Coffee With Kenobi crew of podcasters and bloggers. You have welcomed me into your fold, given me a place to share my silly thoughts and unending supply of stories, and allowed me to take part in your own lives and adventures through Facebook, Twitter, email, and sometimes through actual conversations. On a phone! My life today is almost unrecognizable compared to my life at this time last year, and it’s exponentially more satisfying.

So, my point is, Thank You. To the reader, Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for wanting to share a bit of yourself (and your time) with me. To my CWK family, Thank you for allowing me to read your posts, your comments, your opinions. Thank you for supporting the launch of Bantha Banter (which you can find on www.MarvinDogMedia.com ((I’m never above a shameless plug))). Thank you for being genuinely cool people. Most of all, thank you for your friendship. I don’t have many blood relatives left, but my FriendFamily is large and amazing, and I am honored to be included with all of you.

In closing, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and if you aren’t stateside where Thanksgiving is a thing, I hope you are thankful anyway. And above all, a Happy (Belated) Life Day to all! And to all, a good night!

Next month, I’ll be back with some musings about Christmas, which is my most favoritest time of the year.

Til then, Marvin says “Hi”

Email Jeff at jeffm@coffeewithkenobi.com

Hear Jeff talk at www.MarvinDogMedia.com and on Assembly of Geeks at www.AssemblyOfGeeks.com

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4 Comments

  1. Melinda
    November 26, 2014 at 09:36 Reply

    When I first read the title of your blog, Jeff, I thought it said: “TANK the Maker”. And then I started reading. Where are the “tanks?” I mused. There are no tanks! 😉

    Then my eyes focused. lol

    Thankfully. 😀

    What a wonderful blog, Jeff! Thank you so very much for sharing not only a bit of your mother’s approach to life, but your relationship with her. How special!!! 😀 You are one lucky fellow. 🙂 I can’t help but think of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s oft-quoted line: “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” It is a line from his poem, “In Memoriam A.H.H.” I have heard the line referenced mostly regarding romantic love, but did you know Lord Tennyson wrote the poem in honor of one of his closest friends who died suddenly? The requiem pertains to ALL kinds of love, and that shared between you and your mom is a clear example. It doesn’t make losing her any easier. However, like I said, you are very lucky to have had her in your life.

    By the way, I love her approach — why not laugh rather than cry? Laughter really does have healing powers! 😀

    While on the subject of thanks (yes, I finally got it right! 😉 ), I would like to say THANK YOU for treating me and all of us to your witty, engaging prose every month. I always enjoy stopping by to read what you have to share with us, and I always come away laughing and in lighter spirits. You never fail to put a smile on my face. 😀

    Your mother would be proud. 🙂

    I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving, Jeff. Until next time,

    MTFBWY 🙂

    1. Jeff M
      December 15, 2014 at 10:22 Reply

      Thank you so much Melinda, those were extremely kind words, and I appreciate them. I know my mother would be proud of where I’m at, and she would be especially thankful for the great network of people I have in my life, both online and in real life, thank you for being a part of it.

  2. Ryder
    November 26, 2014 at 14:55 Reply

    Nice job, Jeff. Really great work and I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Jeff M
      December 15, 2014 at 10:22 Reply

      Thanks Ryder (I never got a notification that there were any comments!) Hope you and yours are enjoying the season.

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