Not everyone knows that I grew up in a little town in Chambers County Alabama called Lafayette. It’s big claim to fame is being the birthplace of championship boxer, Joe Louis. I idolized Joe Louis as a child and he is where I got my inspiration to to become a boxer.
Lafayette Alabama was your idyllic small southern town, with the classic town square and a beautiful courthouse right in the middle. My father’s law office was downtown, and my Momma worked as a principal in the elementary school.
Every Thanksgiving, our family would come from all over. Our house would be bursting at the seams with aunts, uncles, cousins and of course, my dear Grandmother, Lynda Tatum Walton, or as we called her, “Grandsey”. She would begin preparing and cooking weeks beforehand, complaining all along that her hands hurt – because she refused to use any electric appliances, imagine that! And of course, any assistance offered would be quickly denied.
Thanksgiving brings back fond memories of the aroma of turkey, being shooed out of the kitchen, a house full of family, that actually enjoyed being around one another. We would all gather around the TV and watch the Detroit Lions lose every year and maybe later, we would all pile together and go on an afternoon hunt. There were no heated political discussions or arguments. Just family, all together, and all thankful.
Looking back, I am still so thankful that I was blessed to be able to experience a good old fashion Thanksgiving.
It wasn’t the food that my sweet grandmother spent weeks preparing. It wasn’t the afternoon hunts, and it definitely wasn’t watching the Lions lose every year. It was the laughter, the love and the feeling of being thankful for the blessings we had, no matter how big or small.
This Thanksgiving, I wish that each and every one of you have the opportunity to experience a good old fashioned Thanksgiving. No matter where you are in life, whether you have a food spread fit for a king, or you are eating with strangers at a shelter, I hope you hear laughter. I hope you feel the love of others around you. And I hope you feel thankful for the blessings you have.
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