East Penn Press

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Another View

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 by The Press in Opinion

Remembering our blessings in these uncertain times

Thank goodness. It is finally Thanksgiving, and Christmas is right around the corner. That means it is publicly acceptable for me to watch the holiday movie “Miracle on 34th Street.” (I may or may not have started to watch this film before Halloween. Don’t ask my husband.)

I’m talking about the 1994 version here. To be honest, I’m not one to watch many black and white movies. Some of my favorite movies are from the ‘90s — “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Stepmom,” “Little Women,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “You’ve Got Mail” and, of course, “Miracle on 34th Street.” I was born in 1986, so many people my age find nostalgia in this era of films because we watched them in our young teen and possibly young adult years.

I remember watching “Miracle on 34th Street” with my family, seeing if we could all somehow fit on the couch together while not spilling the shared bowl of popcorn. Besides my mother’s other favorite Christmas classic, “White Christmas,” “Miracle on 34th Street” was “our movie” we always said. Films we make a personal connection to stay with us forever.

I also remember very strongly the character of Susan Walker. One thing I wanted to be when I grew up, in addition to becoming a professional singer and dancer (I’m still dreaming), was a mom. I wanted to have a daughter just like Susan. Her character was soft-spoken, sweet, mature, kind and graceful. My future daughter was going to be perfect and never do any wrong — just like the character of Susan — from birth to the time she left home for college.

Let’s fast forward to today. Our 20-month-old son broke the bench furniture two weeks ago. (I feel a palm to forehead emoji would be appropriate here.)

But for the record, our son is our perfect miracle, and we’d be lost without him.

That’s what’s so exciting about holidays, right? It’s about family. It’s the perfect excuse to feast to your heart’s desire; it’s seeing family who you may only visit with once a year; it’s the happiness, joy and warmth you feel when spending time with loved ones and it’s a day to remember all you are thankful for and all you are blessed to have.

I often say to myself how much more thankful I am these past few years. I think this is because of age but also because of tragedies I see in the world today.

I am thankful for many things — I am happily married; we are blessed with a son; I have a part-time job, which I love, and it allows me to stay home with Benjamin two days a week; we have a nice home, filled with love, family and friends; we are financially stable to enjoy a dinner out every week and take a nice vacation at least once a year.

All the things I am thankful for make me remember the families in America who may be finding it difficult to be thankful this Thanksgiving — and probably many more Thanksgivings to come. I particularly think of the many mass shootings. And I am worried, too. I worry for my son, who will be going to school in a couple years; I worry for my cousin, who is a teacher and I worry about myself because it seems no place may be safe today, as shootings are occurring everywhere, not just schools as it were when these tragedies started.

If there’s one thing I have greatly learned since stepping into my late 20s and early 30s it’s that every day is a blessing — and we must still find, remember and be thankful for our blessings, especially when tragedy strikes the nation and within our families. There is bad in this world, but there is much more good. We particularly see that good in the aftermath of a tragedy when America comes together to donate, volunteer and pray.

Every day, and particularly on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I count my blessings. I hope the blessings in your life help you reflect on the holidays’ significances.

Stacey Koch

editorial assistant

Whitehall-Coplay Press

Northampton Press

Catasauqua Press