There’s always something to howl about

On giving thanks: The Thanksgiving Scenius and the Thanksgiving scene and the abundance of love

This was a tough week for our house for a few reasons. One is that I am working through a contract, a situation in which my ability to communicate with my clients was all but shut down. This was a first for me, and painful. I understood what was happening, but not necessarily why it happened. I knew I had to keep plowing ahead though, and Wednesday we finally got back on some solid ground, something to be thankful for and grow from.

As bad as that was, the toughest thing we dealt with was a death. A teenager- a beautiful, intelligent, funny, and sweet child of 16, we had known her since she was 3, one of the few people in the world who was a friend to both of our kids, died in an automobile accident. She was a passenger on a sunny morning drive in the country, in a car with her girlfriends- cranking up the music, singing, goofing off, celebrating life with the joyous freedom that only teenage girls are capable of. I can’t help but smile when I picture a car full of girls, laughing out loud, full of life, full of hope, full of happiness… Then the driver ran a red light.

She had moved to a small neighboring community, and we didn’t see much of her any more, still, the friends of your kids hold a special place in your heart- as any Mom will tell you. The tiny community she lived in was shaken to it’s very core. The ripple effect- so many families knew everyone involved- the girls in the car as well as the couple who had the green light and hit the girls. It will take years to heal from this, and yet, and yet… The viewing was full of life. Yes, young people came to say good-bye to their dear friend, but teenagers are life itself- it oozes from them, they can’t contain it. Memories and testaments to this child and the special place she held in the hearts of so many people were everywhere you turned and this funeral was not about death, but was about living, and I think that all of us who were touched by this tragedy were pushed one step closer to understanding that every day, every moment is an extraordinarily precious thing that must be cherished or it’s wasted.

Yesterday I woke up and needed to connect to people, but not physically. And not with people who knew Amber or know anything about this beautiful life suddenly gone. I wanted to think about something not personal, not emotional, not painful. And on Thanksgiving, before I headed out to Grandma’s house, and that home, and all my cousins and the feeling of love and good luck to have such a remarkable family to call mine, I had the great fortune to have some very dear friends willing to indulge in some technical conversations of how to make computers and code and php-ish stuff behave in a way that will connect real people with each other.

It was another home- my cyber home. The conversation was lively, and funny, and smart, and often over my head, but I was welcomed and embraced and contributed what I could. I found that I was connected to the living, to a world that is only possible because we each wanted to connect to someone else that morning, all for different reasons I’m sure, but my conversations on that Thanksgiving morning were as meaningful to me as the conversations I had later at Grandma’s home, and what I thought was going to be a connection without the raw emotions of the week, only made me realize how important this home, this Bloodhound home, and all the people I’ve met because of this place, how important you all are to me. This world of technology has made connecting to people on a loving and giving level so much easier, but it’s still an extremely human connection, and the people who share and read and write here also have an exquisite understanding that while we live in a world of abundance, life is a precious thing not to be wasted.

Today, as you do whatever you do on the day after Thanksgiving, and in the coming weeks as we drive full throttle into the holidays, I hope that you stop for just a moment to reflect again on your blessings; the abundance you have in your life and the love you experience in all it’s manifestations, and I hope you move one step closer to understanding how extraordinarily remarkable life can be when surrounded by this extraordinary abundance of love.


12 Comments so far

  1. Greg Swann November 28th, 2008 8:22 am

    Just gorgeous. And you’re right. That scene yesterday morning was very much like family, as though we were batting ideas around at the breakfast table before going off to take on the day. Clearly the most important meal, because y’all made my day, 😉

  2. Vance Shutes November 28th, 2008 9:31 am

    Teri – It’s a blessing to each of us that know you, both through BHB and our business interaction. Thank you for sharing this. I absolutely love the phrase “…as we drive full throttle into the holidays…”!!!! Let’s go!

  3. Sean Purcell November 28th, 2008 11:50 am

    Simply beautiful.

  4. Brad Coy November 28th, 2008 4:38 pm

    More gratitude.. more recognition of the abundance of life. This has been a special holiday.

    Thank you Teri.

  5. Kevin Sandridge November 28th, 2008 10:30 pm

    Hi Teri – I still remember our lunch at Denny’s during Orlando Unchained – and you, Brian, Sean, and Chris were so easy to talk and joke around with! I’m still new to the Bloodhound Blog crew, but I wanted to thank you for giving your time as you have!

    Kevin Sandridge
    Winter Haven, FL

  6. Teri Lussier November 29th, 2008 2:29 am

    Hi Kevin-

    I enjoyed that lunch as well, although I felt like I was crashing a party. 😉

    >I wanted to thank you for giving your time as you have!

    Thanks so much for saying that, Kevin.
    I can say, with complete honestly that giving back to BHB is a pleasure and a delight, and if you’ve benefited somehow from that, then that makes it worthwhile as well.

  7. Eric Blackwell November 29th, 2008 5:43 am


    That was beautifully written.

    Thank you for being you and being one of those voices around the breakfast table. You are the spark that starts many of the fires that only appear to be spontaneous combustion. This is the second time where we have enjoyed these “scenius” experiences together. Whether in person or in email on Thanksgiving morning, they are fun! and I look forward to many more. And I am glad that it could provide some distraction from a painful week.

    @Brad- My thoughts and prayers are still with your loved ones as well.

  8. Geno Petro November 30th, 2008 8:16 am


    My heart goes out to you and your children. And thank you for all the service work you provide to this community, as well.


  9. Doug Quance November 30th, 2008 10:15 pm

    My heart is saddened by the news… yet warmed by how you dealt with your situation.

    This year has been rough for many of us. Sometimes we have to take a moment to look around and find the common goodness that our friends and family have to offer. And sometimes good ideas form from those bonds.

    Bravo to all of you.

  10. Dennis Blackmore December 1st, 2008 7:50 pm

    I do everyday thank my blessings – i did not always though.

  11. Sue December 6th, 2008 9:00 pm

    Beautiful words telling a sad story and giving us all a reminder of life and the important things…people, love and giving. I do think about how fortunate I am often and give thanks as well.

  12. […] we’ve been playing this scenius game since Thanksgiving, really since Swallow Hill Road, and it’s fun to explore how much we understand of what […]