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Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

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Hardy L. BrownGod, family, friends and community

It is great to have a day like thanksgiving on your calendar because it gives you the time to schedule and reflect on those things that give your life meaning and fulfillment. I give thanks to God for giving me a reasonable portion of good health, a church family that prays for my return to the physical movement I once had, and a pas tor that makes personal visits to check up on me. However, God has given me a contentment and personal peace to enjoy life like never before. Therefore, I pres s forward doing what I can, to reach my full purpose that God has for my life.

He has given me a wonderful helpmate in my wife Cheryl with a supporting cast o f children and grand-children. Hardy II, Sonnietta and family have moved back home to help mom care for me and they attend to my every need. No t a day goes by that I don’t hear or read an email from Renee, Paulette o r Regina. Kurt, my son-in-law made sure I could watch television without my glasses by purchasing me a large flat screen and Rickerby, my other son-in-law, keeps me supplied with “Mammie Helens” pies for desert. When you see me sitting in my mechanical lift chair at home o r at the office you might think nothing i s wrong with me but any second I could swallow wrong and create a scary situation. I have to focus al l o f my attention o n whatever physical thing I do like eating and walking when others are around. Yet my family lives a full life of activities to enrich their lives which is very important to me. I cannot thank God enough for what each of them do for me including the grandchildren.

Then I have my eight siblings who call and check on me from time to time and several nieces who email me every day from North Carolina.

Then there are the local relatives that make sure I want for nothing.

All of those blessings would be enough to give thanks for but God decided to give me friends and a wonderful community to live in. He has given me spiritual leaders, led by my pastor Rev Larry Campbell o f St. Paul AME, from across the spectrum o f denominations and faiths that pray and check in on me regularly. The ministerial alliance of Riverside, especially Rev. Jerry Louder and the Inland Empire African American Concerned Churches of San Bernardino provides meal s to me from time to time through Sister Helen, it is a wonder I am not as big as a house from all of the free meals I get but God is controlling my weight. Then each o f them have members who do the same. I can’t s top there because so many friends do some wonderful thing s for me, like l as t week Dr. Al Karnig , president o f Cal State San Bernardino, invited Cheryl and myself to be his special guests at a performance o f my idol the great B. B. King at the university. He fed us in hi s home and the s eats were on the front row with me twenty five feet from BB. After the performance BB singled me out of the whole crowd to give me a small metal replica of Lucille, his famous guitar. Earlier in the year my friends over at San Manuel Band of Mission Indians treated us to the Chuck Berry and Little Richard performance. I know you have heard of the Hardy Brown College Prep School. For y our information, it was Margaret Fortune, Trustee of the California State University system and members of the community, no t me, that came up with the school and name. Then it was the SB Unified School Board that voted 7 and 0 to approve the request to move forward.

If that is not enough to be thankful for, God sent some angel s to me through our student internship program: Briana Boykin, Kalin Scott, Tyrone Sutton, Timothy Dupree, Lien Nguyen have all come in to take care of me while fulfilling their learning experience. They make sure I eat, have water to drink, do my stretching exercises and not sit too long at the computer. They al so l earn other things like coordinating events, writing news releases and talking with people like Speaker of the Assembly, Karen Bas s as an example. I can’t talk that well over the phone so I get them to speak for me. It fills me with joy when they say, I just talked with and met Karen Bass o r I just got off the phone with the mayor o r city council member of some other elected official. This is only a thumbnail peek into the many blessings that I give thanks for this thanksgiving. I also give thanks to the many readers o f our newspaper and website online version each and every week. I spend so much time counting my blessings that I don’t have much time to think about my personal condition. I’m especially thankful for friends like Frank and Dottie McClanahan and Evand Sylvia Martin James who have g one the extra mile to prepare meal s and to s end me interesting newspaper articles from other publications that I may or may not have seen. And others who call and check on me from time to time. I pray all of you have a wonderful thanksgiving with your family, friends and community.

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