Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Thu, Aug. 13

Thoughts from Tana ...<br>

In one of the catalogs that have come in the mail this year, I read the following truism, “Some people come into our lives and quietly go. Others stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.”

In this season of Thanksgiving, these words stirred memories of those people who have left “footprints” on my heart.

We spend our whole lives searching for many things, love and affection come first to my mind. The quest to be loved begins at the moment of birth. Following this, we begin the journey of seeking knowledge as we explore the world about us. At some point in our lives we assign ourselves the task of establishing our identities, and then we begin to question the purpose of our existence.

As I began to trace my memory of the individuals who have been a part of my life, I realized how truly blessed I have been. I kept remembering people dear to me as names and faces began to tumble from a mental album I hadn’t opened for years. The collection revealed a host of family, friends, neighbors and even people I had only briefly met, yet still remembered with fondness.

A memorable window opened to the past and the truism touched a chord of longing. I recalled a neighbor who, upon watching me, a young and inexperienced housewife struggle to fold a fitted sheet as I took it from the clothesline, offered to show me how to tuck the corners in and fold it neatly. I have put what she taught me into practice from that day forward. Another dear neighbor taught me how to make wassail. Making it has become a tradition our family has enjoyed ever since.

I have been lucky to have friends who helped me through rough times with encouraging words and thoughtful deeds. I have been fortunate to have friends who shared life’s rewarding moments and others who gave me a grasp on reality when my head was in the clouds. Also, added to this collection of memories were those of friends who offered other perspectives on life than what I had envisioned.

If I were to ask myself to write down the names of people who have touched me in ways that left me, as the truism speaks, “never the same,” it would be an impossible task. It would be as inane as asking a mother to identify her favorite child. The only person I could think who answered that question in the best way possible was Erma Bombeck, who said her favorite child was the one who needed her the most at the moment.

I am not the person I might have been if my husband had chosen another.

Nor am I the person, and I am certain of it, that I would have been had God not blessed me with children.

I am a different person than I would have been had it not been for my family and my dearest friends who have left “footprints on my heart.”

Yet, there is a truth that revealed itself to me. It is by all people that we establish our identities, for they, each and every one, are the purpose of our existence. My favorites are those who have been there when I needed them most.

In this season of Thanksgiving I bow my head to the good Lord who made them all.

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