The Cycle of Life

We’d just finished a deliciously decadent Thanksgiving dinner, the first my younger son and his family had hosted, when my son held up the candle at our table and announced it was time to pass it and say what we were thankful for. Memories flooded back of when he was a little boy and this had been our family tradition on Sunday evenings and special holidays.

Our “thankfuls” hadn’t really changed much, with one exception. Neither  of my grandchildren announced, as my son had so many years ago, that they preferred to start with their “un-thankfuls.” Instead, my twelve year old grandson Cameron and seven year old granddaughter Charisma spoke of how thankful they were to be together and to have such loving parents and grandparents. We grownups, naturally, talked about how thankful we were for the children and family we’d been blessed with. Once the candle had gone around once, the kids were so enthusiastic they requested “one more turn” to speak of more things they’d thought of—football and friends and the coming Christmas holidays.

After they’d taken a second turn, I grabbed the candle and said, “I’m so thankful for the cycle of life. Long after your grandfather and I are gone, I can imagine Cameron and Charisma sitting at the table with their children passing the candle and expressing their “thankfuls.”

And I really do. There is something quite beautiful about the reality that while life inevitably ends, bits and pieces of us pass on to the next generation—and the next—and the next.

And the greatest piece, of course, is our love and gratitude for one another.


  1. Marty Stiffler on November 28, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    What a wonderful coda to this holiday your blog is! I want to add to the thankfuls by thanking you for this meaningful description of the cycle of life.

  2. Rosetta W. Wood on November 29, 2016 at 6:57 am

    There are two sides to all cycles of life. I would not want to repeat any of them. We can appear brave and positive or we can smile and appear fearless. I do both depending on the occasion. The honest truth is many people have a number of health issue by the time they reach their “golden years”. At the end stage like every other stage of life we have our challenges and maybe the young people should know it. I knew an Italian family and the very young adults would always say “Hello” and then say ” “how are the parents”. I wondered about this then, but have learned about it since. I think that other cultures are more honest in the cycles of life and they keep more generations together.

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