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Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Blessed Thanksgiving in Alexandria, Virginia 2010

I had a great Thanksgiving. I saw my parents who are in there late 70' and early 80's and they are healthy. I saw my sister and here children, apparently content even while suffering through a divorce. I heard from a few friends, because lets' face it, most people do not have time to send a heart felt message to everyone that is dear to them.

My Mother is miraculously healing after having been severely and gravely ill for several years and recently down to 84 pounds. Her spirit and mind are strong and her Faith Stronger then imaginable by most. God Bless my beautiful Mother and My Father who loves her and cares for her like no other, while they each are along side God and in this life still. Amen.

She is gaining strength as well as wait, and her own equilibrium and muscle town has been restored and is continually doing so.

Death is a part of this life, acceptance does not have to be an option but rather a catalyst for strength and guidance, and then Faith heals everything, be it in our body, mind soul, or elsewhere as we each perceive. When we seek what God would have for us and those around us, everything is possible. Thy will be done.

I struggled to Alexandria, Virginia in my trusty 1989 Prelude...do not knock it...what a tough fun car...and 35 MPG !...

I have had a problem that has been severe with my back, as it is broken and has a disease of the spinal cord canal, along with a broken vertebrae and cracked, leaking disk. But I am not a quitter...so it subsides to just bearable and then...

the left foot has an acute attack of gout on the large toe and then the ankle...pain words do not know and only experience can feel...


...so I state to Mom on the phone...thanks God I have never had it in both feet...

...so the right foot quickly chimed in and was worse then the left...which was still in terrible shape!


So I have my cane and we arrive to Alexandria, Virginia at the folks house.

I hobble in, if it was even that graceful (graceful hobble = oxymoron)

We went to Cedar Knoll at noon on Thanksgiving, the following day of arrival. I was with Rhonda, my Fiance, my parents, my sister Carol, and her beautiful blessed children.

The restaurant is on The George Washington Memorial Parkway and has breathtaking views of our now cleaner river.

I remember the terrible smell of rotten fish as a child as I grew up and played at that river, and I have seen the devastation of man. It disgusts me deeply. But I see healing and now I see Eagles where there were not as I was a child.

The Eagle is not just symbolic Strength. It is Grace, Hope, and Prosperity.

Lest we forget our National Majestic Eagle.

At The Potomac there now in Alexandria, Virginia, Eagles are nesting in Aeries and they are reproducing, and there are fish in abundance for them to eat, and they are prospering. What an incredible rebirth.

There is work to still be done, but we have collectively made a difference, and that is proof, however merely a start, still an extremely promising sign.

Bass and Stripers, as well (as other species) are abundant again where there was nothing but death a short time ago.

The food at Cedar Knoll was impeccable as well as the service, but nothing was better then the love in the atmosphere we shared as we gazed upon our lovely Potomac, where an Eagle glided by, further gracing my homecoming.

I pray to again soar like that eagle myself, soon, as the pain reverberated up my legs on each side to my knees excruciatingly...grimacing in pain while I ate what I could because pain and appetite are not usually close friends.

The dogs always love my leftovers!

I left slightly early, but certainly not rudely, as I just thought a head start would make me get home (the folks home) slightly behind everyone else.

I used Dad's walker from his hip replacement surgery years ago to make my way both there and back.

Wow...never used a walker...that was hard to wrap that around my head, but easier knowing it's temporary...but time moves slowly when your in pain like this.

I say none of this to complain or gain sympathy. It is simply me testimony of triumph that I have learned from friends that have suffered far worse, and have gotten through to the other side in whatever shape and now have even more meaningful wholesome lives.

Thanks friends...like Dale Lisi, Kurt Thornburg, Greg, my Fiance's Father. My own Mother most recently that shows me resilience like I did not know existed.They have each overcome harrowing odds, but shown me strength through action which has offered me enlightenment.

That night my feet were even worse...however, the following day I eventually hobbled out to our car at 8:30 PM, which was the day after Thanksgiving.

We filled our classic 1989 gas sipping Honda Prelude at Hollin Hall Shell, where the kind attendant thankfully cleaned my dirty windows. Their employees care because they are people that have ethics and run a business well and treat all of us respectfully...Thanks

We then hit the 7-11, where my fiance got the 2 for $ 2.22 dogs...still a silly old favorite from our respective youths.

Got to love Hollin Hall Shopping Center.

I took two Aleve and prayed as we departed for the mountains of home in Cumberland, Maryland.

We made it home nicely and I stumbled through the cold dark backyard with the walker and a cane in each hand in case the back yard terrain of my house threw me any challenges.

Once in the door, and I could now stand somewhat and the shower was close by...I anticipated and had to take a warm, warm shower. I felt bathed by refreshing warm water pouring over me as I again prayed and felt I was being baptized yet once again, as so many times before.

I then struggled up the steps and made it to the most comfortable bed in the world...my own at home...and it is an old piece of junk...that I am thanksful for as well, as it comforts me at these times.

So the next day, Thanksgiving getes better even yet.

Rhonda's sister and her fiance ariive at our home, and then her daughter and boyfriend, as well as her two nephews and niece.

She surrounded me with warmth and love when my mental game was weak.

That is love!

Then she made a most scrumptious batch of Chili and a side plate of DaVinci pepper cheese and saltiness.

The love Rhonda gave, her family she shared, and the food she cooked gave me life for appetite, and that is the nourishment that I consumed, not a simple bowl of warm chili, but hours of love.

Thanksgiving is about love and friends.

I have battled health, and I will battle still, and I will conquer like usual and be a better man for it.

That is a part of my life that persists, and not always to any particular fault of my own, just life on lifes terms.

So Thanksgiving was perfect because family and friends lifted my wreckage of a vessel and brought me to a place where healing could take place.

I write this to share my most strangely wonderful and unforgettable Thanksgiving that I have ever known.

Love shared by others heals all...the passage of time brings forth healing, character and understanding. Perspective is not renewed but yet, ANEW. ...and from a starting point with that mentality you rise again as the literal Phoenix of old Lore.

I am that Phoenix, only because of the Lords hands guiding me to deeper enlightenment offered so freely by my loved ones, which I cannot imagine a life without.

Friends I have lost far too many, and that is truly not an understatement.

My perils are many too, some of which I own, and other that are just plain happenstance as we all live through at times.

Swallow pride, keep your head high, love each and all, such few words, with meaning not small.

Wallow in self pity, easy to do, but a sty not a home indeed,
Pray for Patience and Grace, He gives us all we truly need.

So I am simply in awe of my wonderful Thanksgiving in 2010,
blessed by friends word and prayers, you help me heal once again.

I am here for each and all of you to, just ask and receive,
I offer all that I have, as I am blessed with all that I need.

I truly pray you each were blessed with friends, family, and nourishing food from the spirit on this day we offer Thanks to Thee...

Perhaps I may not walk today, but the wings God gives me make me free.

and again, I will soar like the Eagle!

I hope your Thanksgiving was at least partially as wonderful as mine.

God Bless your friend,

John Swygert