From former Pittsfield parishioner Steve Harris, to his Dad.

To Dad

Thanksgiving 2003

Love Steve

Thanksgiving with Mom

My Personal “All Saints Day”

I enjoyed speaking with you three weeks ago on Sunday, “All Saints Day”. I was glad to learn that both of us attended two different Church services (St. Stephen’s Episcopal in Pittsfield and Wellesley Hills Congregational) to hear our respective Ministers read Mom’s name, in recognition of hers and others’ deaths to honor their lives and understand the hope of eternal life. All Saints Day is normally about the “major league” saints like the Disciples who have helped shape our Christian Faith. But I truly believe the real saints in our lives are the “regular folks”, our loved ones, like “beacons of light” show us the way to love and grace everyday. These are the people that help us learn, work, love and shape our faith in our respecti ve paths to God. Saints, “major league or regular folk” have their faults but these faults pale in comparison to their “good works” of love. I know that Mom was with us on All Saints Day and every day! Each day we “do our thing”, “striving for this or that” but when I see a loving gesture, a smile, a friend, a kind act, I see and feel Mom. As we approach Thanksgiving I think about all those special people in our lives who over the years have shared Thanksgiving Day with us. They too have helped us to see “our way” to knowing love.

On this Thanksgiving, I know Mom will be with us as she played a huge role shaping our understanding, experience and love of the Thanksgiving holiday. I have some fond, vivid memories of Mom’s cooking and good humor. The tastes of many special foods Mom prepared like the scrumptious pumpkin, apple and blueberry pies will be missed but not forgotten. To this day, I actually have fun tasting any pie and measuring it against Mom’s world class standards. But it was not just the food on Thanksgiving but her selfless efforts to make the day “work” for all. These were all acts of love and I’m more thankful now than when I was as a child. Each one of us “kids ” happily applies Mom’s and your traditions in our family Thanksgivings today. I’m sure we will continue to do so in the future and hopefully our children will do so for their children in the future. Thanksgiving is a powerful tradition of love!

So now what? There is no doubt that the holidays will be different this year without Mom. But for me her death is a very strong reminder of love and her role as a “Saint” in our lives. I feel blessed to have shared in her love and life. I will “keep the faith” and be true to Mom’s love and to all the other “saints” who have touched our family. This Thanksgiving Day will be a more poignant reminder of this love and I intend to cherish the day!

Stephen J. Harris


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