Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Time to Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is an important time of year for me. It is a time when our family gets together to 'break bread' and share our thoughts. I love turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, corn, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, etc. (you get the idea). I usually eat too much even though I have been a little better these last few years. And, fortunately, I enjoy leftovers as much as the Thanksgiving meal.

Too often, however, we tend to forget what this holiday is all about … a time to give thanks. Many times, we end up stressed out as the food is prepared and concerns linger that everything arrives at the table at the same time. However, I have noticed that once everyone sits down and we all hold hands to pray, sighs can heard around the table and things seem to settle down. At that moment, everything is all right once again.

The older I get the more important it becomes to share ones thoughts and give thanks for what we have. I have so much to be thankful for (the list could fill up a couple of blog posts). Today's post, however, is meant to just touch the surface (random thoughts) of all the things I would like to give thanks for. If I started another list tomorrow, many comments would be the same, but there would also be several new points added. Many of these thoughts are the result of sixty plus years of growing including four years in the U.S. Navy and two Vietnam tours. Visiting several third-world countries and seeing what conditions people have to live in is a real revelation (war, hunger, famine, disease, lack of education, etc.). Coming from a large family (ten children) is also a wonderful experience. My childhood memories are filled with happy moments.

Today, I am thankful for:
  • The men and women of our armed forces, and their families. They sacrifice so much without adequate appreciation, compensation or reward.
  • Being able to live in this country. We often complain about what is wrong, but we seldom say thank you for all that is right. I would not want to live anywhere else.
  • The doctors and researchers who are searching for a treatment or cure. I have said it before, but without them there would be no hope.
  • Modern medicine. It amazes me how far we have come in this field and how fast it is advancing.
  • For our family's health. Yes, as we age our body starts to break down, but we still live long, healthy, and productive lives.
  • Our parents, brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, etc., as well as our friends and neighbors. These people are my support system. Life without family and friends would be pretty miserable and boring.
  • Our financial well-being. Yes, times have been a little tough recently, but the opportunities this country has given us are amazing.
  • Having a sound mind. Don't ask my wife if this is true.
  • And, most of all, for my wonderful, loving, thoughtful, caring and beautiful wife. Without her, life would never have been this good.
Every time I come back and read this post, a few more thoughts come to mind that I could add to the list above. For the moment, I will stay with what I have.  

I will end my post today by asking that you remember those that serve our country as well as their families.  They need our support and our prayers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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