I was sitting at a café this morning when I overheard an elderly man and his granddaughter nearby talking about Thanksgiving. He was drinking coffee, she had a hot cocoa with those tiny marshmallows that seem to make everyone smile. The young girl looked about nine or ten.
“What are you thankful for?” he asked.
She took a second to think about it, then listed off some friends, items she’d purchased over the last year or so, vacations, some family members, and a pet. It was a pretty adult-sounding list for a very young girl. I was impressed.
“How about you, grandpa?” she asked. I had my sunglasses on, but wondered if he could see me looking on in anticipation. Something about that man reminded me of my own grandfather, and I had a feeling his answer would be just right.
He looked down at his coffee, took a sip, and then looked back at his granddaughter.
“Your grandma and the way I saw the world when I was with her.”
I smiled, wondering what the woman had been like who had inspired him over the years, wondering what they had seen and learned together.
Someone soon came by to pick up the little girl. The elderly man stayed at that table nearby, drinking his coffee in deep thought. I never said a word to him, but the sentence he had uttered moments before had really made me think.
What was I thankful for?
My dog’s bark.
“I love you” at midnight.
My mother’s laugh.
My best friend’s terribly inappropriate jokes.
New York City.
My father’s good night calls.
Hubbell Gardiner in The Way We Were.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s words.
Getting lost on a dance floor.
I could go on and on.
So, take a minute and think about what you’re thankful for this week. Let it make you smile and fill you up. Let it remind you what matters in this crazy world we live in.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Jedediah Bila is a Fox News host and commentator, author, columnist, and former professor and academic dean. Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila.