James A. George, Thanksgiving Day 2015
I started to open with a statement like “it’s hard to know where to start”, but that part is easy, because any list of thanks would always begin with the person at the very top of the list, The Lady Judith, who is truly the center of my universe, and without whom life would be, quite simply, unimaginable and without that spirit and life and sparkle and fire and intellect she brings to life every day she’s in our world.
I am so thankful for our family, Jim and Brock, and for the fact that they are doing so exceptionally well with their lives now, through strength of will and determination to overcome their many obstacles along the way. And, I’m a very proud Father to see how well they have done with their lives– very, very proud, indeed. I am thankful for my Brother Peter, who is bearing up remarkably well after losing “the love of his life” and also for the memory of our sister Connie, who left us far too soon, inexplicably, after a severe stroke.
And, I give thanks for our “extended” family, for “Bro” and his family and all the truly beautiful Arnettes and Robinsons — beautiful children, all. And for Kasi and Patrick and The Little Man, Parker, who we so enjoyed being with on Veterans’ Day at his school pageant recently and for Cheryl and her fine children, and risking all the dangers of “singling someone out”, especially her Old Uncle’s “fave”, Maeve, a truly beautiful young lady who is very special to me.
Speaking of which, another member of our family, in fact if not by official consanguinity, we are so thankful for the love and friendship of Maw Maw and her Cecily and those magnificent little twins, Darla and Lila, the lovely little “South Beach girls” who are, unfortunately, half a Nation away which makes it all the more to savor when we do have a chance to be with them, as we did last summer on the Beach.
And for such good friends as Lenny and Vickie and their family, including, of course, always, the very beautiful twins. How fortunate one is to have good friends like Lenny, truly “through thick and thin”! And, for such good, old friends as “The Bayou Gang”, our miraculous group from the 1952 Class of Assumption High School, and for other old friends such as the wonderful friends from our days with the American Inns of Court and the American Board of Trial Advocates, proven and dedicated leaders of the legal profession, one and all. And, for the many fine friendships we have made over the years through service to the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, now being ably Chaired by The Lady Judith! And for the friendships made more recently through service to Opera Louisiane.
On this day in November 2015, I am especially thankful for our Founding Fathers, a most providential gathering of some of the greatest and most courageous minds ever brought together in one place and at one time in the history of the World, and for the system of government and laws they left us, which has stood the test of time for well over two centuries. And I am enormously and immeasurably thankful that our system of laws, regardless of the particular men and women who happen, at any given time, to be entrusted with its management and execution, remains as a continuing and strong structure and a beacon for hope for our future as the Greatest and Most Exceptional Nation ever created in the history of Man.
In that regard, I am thankful for the astonishing and amazing quality of the men and women who have offered themselves as candidates for the Office of President in our party, any one of the final six to seven probable final contenders of whom would make a most qualified and competent leader of the free world, at a time when one is so sorely needed. I am also thankful for the fact that the office of President is term limited, for whatever historical reasons that is in place, limiting, at least in some way, the damage which can be done by an incompetent, immature, childish, petulant, disturbed and troubled person who happens to occupy that office at any given time.
And, I am most thankful for the great words of thanks of the great men of American history, none of which are more inspiring than those of the Father of Our Nation: “… that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed…to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, …and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.” George Washington, 1789