Once upon a time, almost thirty-seven years ago, a young woman in Orange, California gave birth to a young boy named Mathew. Mathew was a bright-eyed young child with a smile that could melt the coldest of hearts.
It wasn’t a perfect story by any means, for this young lady was unmarried and there was not a father in this young man’s life. Fortunately, there was a very supportive family that surrounded this young lady and her son with unconditional love and care. Here were the makings of a happy story.
The story even improved at this point! The young lady eventually married a young man who loved her and her son unconditionally as well. The man loved the young child with all of his heart, and eventually adopted him. The lady and the man had two more sons, and these two boys brought even more love into this story.
Darkening the story a bit was the arrival of a divorce, but as divorces go, it was a pretty amicable one. The lady and the man had joint custody of the children and all still spent most of their time together. There were still family vacations and holidays and birthdays. The days were still bright.
Moving ahead a few years, Mathew was growing up to be a fine young man and a prized student. He was still the apple of his adopted father’s eye and a precious son and brother to the whole family. Mathew graduated from High School and entered college, obtaining a degree in Physics, and was honored as the Physics Student Of The Year.
During his first few years of college, Mathew met a very beautiful, young lady named Eva, a German exchange student. Love blossomed quickly! Marriage was proposed and accepted. A move to Germany was proposed and carried out.
Mathew secured a Master’s Degree in Medical Physics and eventually grew that into a Doctorate in Human Sciences. In a few years, that little California boy was Dr. Mathew! His path as a doctor lead him into the field of cancer research for several years and eventually many other fields of medical research.
At one point in his college career, Mathew asked his adopted father, “Do you know why I went into Medical Physics?” The father assumed it was because it was a very open field with lots of opportunities and a great career choice. Mathew explained that because he had been involved in a marathon in Memphis, Tennessee a few years before, he received brochures from St. Jude Hospital. While looking these brochures over and seeing the pictures of the children that were fighting cancer, he decided he would help those children directly or indirectly, but he was going to help them.
The adopted father felt so much pride in his little Mathew that he broke down and cried. His little boy was a blessing that continued to give at every turn.
The next turn was Mathew and Eva having a little girl named Anna on March 21, 2014. Anna is perhaps the greatest chapter of this story.
But why do I call this a Thanksgiving Story? There is a lot for the characters in this story to be thankful for, but not necessarily in a traditional Thanksgiving way! Let me try to tie it all up quickly and precisely. Mathew and Anna will be flying in from Germany to Wichita Falls this November 19th to spend Thanksgiving with his grandmother, his brothers, his mother, and his adopted father, me.
I’m hoping your Thanksgiving is looking as wonderful as the one we have planned.