Although the Lord says to give thanks in all things, Robert found it hard to give thanks this year. Everyone in his family was having a hard time dealing with his fathers death, especially Robert. Robert had blamed God for his fathers death. His mother made him go to church that Sunday. He didn't pay any attention to what the pastor said. Thats all he could do is think of how he used to play basketball with his father. During church Robert had a sudden flash of when his father was in the hospital. Robert saw his father lying in the hospital bed. He smelt the smell of his father rotting away in front of him. When he got back to reality, he realized where he was and how mad he was at God. He ran out the church. His mother stayed. I guess she figured he needed space, which he did need but thats all he really wanted was his mother to somehow comfort him.
Thanksgiving was only two days away and he couldn't find anything to be thankful for. He thought his own mother hated him. He was sitting in the park under the basketball hoop when an old man walked up him. The man asked why he was so sad. Robert didn't reply. With struggle the man sat down beside him. Robert noticed he had a tattoo on his arm. The man saw Robert staring at it so the man said, "I was in the navy when I had that done."ÃÂ The man went on, "When I had just turned 18 I was made to fight in the Vietnam. My Father had just been killed fighting the same war and now they wanted me. I was angry, but I knew I had fight."ÃÂ Tears were coming down Robert's face. The man saw his tears but continued, "I said my good-byes. My mother cried for the longest time. I never thought she would get over my fathers death. Thats all I wanted to do is get back at the people who killed him. So I went. I fought so hard. I did everything I was told. One day a friend of mine was shot. He would die soon. I went to him and he saw that I was angry so he told me this, "ÃÂJust because I am dying do not be mad. You might want me to stay but God wants me too.' I started to cry, but I knew he was right. I realized what was really important, and I went home proud of my dad for all that he did."ÃÂ The man got up and started to walk away. Roger stood up and said, "Thanks."ÃÂ The man turned around and smiled.
When thanksgiving came he was happy. Although the picture of his father dead never went out of him mind he kept praising God for His goodness. Roger never found out who the man he talked to was, but Roger went on to be a pastor of a great church in North Carolina.