Thanksgiving and Always Gratitude for the Gifts of and from Sam

by Sheila Finkelstein on November 24, 2011

Photo on Left is Charcoal Portrait of Sam Finkelstein done by Chester Bloom in 1961. Photo on Right is Sam in Restaurant at Dinner Party in November, 2002, prior to move from NJ to Florida in December.

The Gift of Sam – Eternally grateful for my beloved Sam
The gifts from Sam to me were, and are, countless, some beyond measure:

The gift of unconditional love,
The gift of me,
The gift of my being “Number 1”, always and forever in his life, his heart.

The gift of love beyond measure for me, his sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren
The gift of acceptance of what could not be changed
The gift of words, words that surface and sustain me even now, some from 51 years ago.

The gift of always being supportive
The gift of countless hours in the darkroom honoring the photos I took of my students and their work
The gift of non-judgment and always being present

The gift of goodness, generosity and love
The gift of a seeing eye, that complemented mine
The gift of partnership and belief in me, in us

The gift of sweetness, tenderness and caring
The gift of humor, commitment and action
The gift of belief

The gift of caresses, soft and tender, with special smiles
The gift of Being, accepting and caring
for him, for me, for all peoplees in the world.

Gentle and compassionate, count-on-able and always there
The gift of life
Despite his death
His honoring of me lives on!

Forever grateful for it all, blessed to have been the recipient of so much, I express my gratitude to you, my Beloved, and all those who helped make you into the forever kind and always man who you were for us, and for your contributions to our world.

And, though I pang at times for things I didn’t do, for ways I was and wasn’t and the “could have’s” done more and better’s, the incessant mind chatter that still surfaces from time to time, I have the greatest gift of all from you, the knowing that, no matter what, I had your love and you had mine!

Eternal gratitude is both of ours.  Remembering it and you this eve of Thanksgiving that marks the 4th year that you have been physically gone from me, from us.

Always love, my Beloved.

NOTE, Prefacing Today’s writing:
Yesterday, 11/22,  in the Wild Woman Writers Group in which I’m a participant, I wrote the following in response to a timed writing prompt.  The calendar date of Sam’s death is 11/21. The day of the week that year in 2007 was the eve of Thanksgiving.

Hmm. Is what’s sticking me my not having spent time writing yesterday honoring Sam, telling him how grateful I was and am for all he contributed to my life? Oh, my Darling, is it even necessary to write, or do you and I both know it?

Hmm. I’m evidently thinking words, which are so important to me, were not spoken out loud enough.

The feelings were taken for granted, not always even identifiable by me.  How easy it is to recognize the feeling of pleasure.

The feelings of love are so much more intangible. They are often elusive, except for the somewhat standard romantic-type words always used.

Is it sufficient to simply know love, without words?

Eternal gratitude is both of ours.  Remembering it and you this eve of Thanksgiving that marks the 4th year that you have been physically gone from me, from us.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Marifran Korb November 24, 2011 at 4:42 am

Dear Sheila,
Your writing beautifully describes love and gratitude that knows no time, place, or distance. And there is no time separation as to yesterday or today’s writing. Sam knows your heart. There’s no test you have to pass. Your mutual love endures. That’s all there is.


Sheila Finkelstein November 24, 2011 at 4:56 am

Thanks so much, Marifran. I love your pointing out the blending, actually disappearance of “time, place and distance.” I’m not quite sure to what you were referring as a “test” I might have thought I had to pass.

And I love your “joy” (in “joyfully”) in “sadness”, indicating there is no “sadness” per se.


Susan Mazza November 24, 2011 at 11:20 pm

A beautiful tribute not only to Sam but to the power of love.


Sheila Finkelstein November 24, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Thanks so much, Susan. Just went to your blog and read your story of your father, who left his mark on you and the world – Beautiful sharing on “Random Acts of Kindness” – also a tribute to the “power of love.”


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