As the chill of fall settles in around us, our thoughts and attention turn to the holidays ahead. For some of us, we anticipate the joy of family members coming from afar to be together again. For some, we think of traveling to be with family or loved ones. For some, the holidays pose a burden because the expectations of those we love may exceed our capacity to meet them, either financially or otherwise. And for many of us, we think of those who won’t be with us because they’re elsewhere or gone from our lives forever.
Holidays are a mixed bag. They are joyful for many, sad or somber for some and usually stressful for all.
Amidst the flurry of activity of preparing meals, traveling or buying presents, I find that I catch myself often needing to remember what the holidays are really about. Notwithstanding the best efforts of every retailer on earth, Hallmark Cards and the NFL, Thanksgiving is really my favorite holiday. I enjoy the crisp fall air, spending some time with family, eating too much turkey and watching a good game. And yet, I also think fondly of those who are gone.
I plan carefully to avoid the ridiculous travel hassles. I try hard not to get caught up in the holiday hype, and I do take time to count my blessings. I think of those less fortunate than me, and I stay on my knees longer than usual to thank God for the good fortune he has chosen to share with me. I thank him for my lovely wife, my two beautiful daughters, my family and friends, and the many other gifts I have in my life. I am indeed very blessed.
I also say a long thank you to our Benchmark associates. For the great work they do every day. For the countless ways they show their love and care for our residents, their families and one another. For the gift of going beyond doing their job to really touching the lives of those who’ve chosen a Benchmark community as their home, or a home for someone they love profoundly.
I say thank you for living our values – Called to Care, Better Together and Be the Benchmark.
I say thank you for the quiet ways they offer comfort when others experience loneliness or pain or loss or discomfort. I say thank you for the quiet ways they support one another during the occasional struggles we all encounter from time to time in our lives. I say thank you for the joy and laughter they bring each day to brighten the lives of those who work and live in their Benchmark community. I say thank you for living our values – Called to Care, Better Together and Be the Benchmark.
I say thank you for the privilege of being part of this team – known to be the best in New England – that is on a journey to transform lives through human connection. These human connections will be what the people we touch give thanks for next year and for many years to come.
They are making a difference. A life-changing one. I thank them and everyone associated with Benchmark, and wish you all Happy Thanksgiving!