As the autumn takes its strong hold on the land and winter edges closer with every day, I take time to reflect on the year past. It is November and Thanksgiving is only weeks away. It is time to gather friends and relatives together and give thanks for everything around us. Yet, as my life moves forward I have become increasingly busy like so many others. My mind becomes focused inward and I loose sight of those around me. I find myself thinking in terms of me instead of focusing my attention on those people that I interact with everyday.
I walk through stores that promote the big Thanksgiving dinner and all the excess that surrounds the holidays. I see commercial ads that promise happiness when we buy. I see people rushing through the day with little notice of the person beside them. In this season of thanks have I become so influenced by the avarice of our capitalistic society as to forget about the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Am I or are we so busy with the Thanksgiving feast that we are forgetting to give thanks to all those around us that have influenced our life.
It has been a good year. I have a good job that challenges me mentally and coworkers that take pride in a job well done. My neighborhood is welcoming and friendships have become stronger between us. My family has grown in its love over the year in the face of struggles. My life is brighter because of the people around me that have influenced my life.
So with this realization, I am taking the time to thank each person for the kindness they have bestowed upon my life.
Thank you, my mother, who praises the goodness in me, who loves me unconditionally, who wants nothing but the best for me. Thank you for guiding me through my life. You have made me the person that I am. I have a good heart because of you.
Thank you, my father, for your strength and direction. With you wisdom I have found a life that has been fulfilling and gratifying. You have molded me as you watched me grow. It is your thoughtful words that I hold close to me and influence my actions. You have made me strong and independent, able to face all adversity.
Thank you, my brother, who has the biggest heart I know. You kindness and spirituality overwhelms me. You give all of yourself to the needs of others. I can only wish to be half the person you have become.
Thank you, my oldest sister, whose strength of family runs deep. Your nurturing hand has guided your family to become a light in your community. I am grateful to have you in my life for you are a beacon guiding my actions as well as your families.
Thank you, my second sister, your selflessness and forgiving heart provide a warmth to all those around you. You traveled many miles to be by my side when I was stricken with cancer. I thank you for that. You also have a forgiving heart. Your ability to forgive those who hurt you is a strength that I try to emulate everyday.
Thank you, my youngest sister, your faith in others is amazing. You love those around you wholeheartedly and ask nothing in return. You took me to the hospital on a day that I had hit rock bottom. You were my angel and for that I am grateful.
Thank you, my partner, your love knows no boundaries. Your trust is unfailing, Your leadership and integrity gives strength to our community and your workplace. You are my guiding light and rock. As we grow together you have become a part of me that I cherish everyday. I love you.
Thank you, my siblings partners, your additions to this family have made us all that much stronger. Your kind words and acceptance are greatly appreciated. Each of you have been so generous in your love. It is as if you were always a part of this family.
Thank you, my nieces and nephews, you are made from love. Each of you are your parents gift to the world. You have taken their love and blossomed into caring beings. Your smiles light up my heart. Your kindness is precious and your boundless love is felt by each member of the family.
Thank you, my friends, for which I am forever grateful. You picked me up when I was down. You found time to talk when I needed an ear. You helped me when I needed a hand. You were strong for me when I was not. You found me when I was lost. It is wonderful to have people in my life such as yourselves. May all your goodness bring you happiness throughout your lives.
Thank you, my neighbors, you were there when I was unable to care for my home. You shoveled snow for me. You watched my door when I was away. You cared for my dog when was on business trips. You opened your door when I moved into the neighborhood. You found kind words when I could not. I will never forget your generosity.
Thank you, my coworkers, who work by my side and never work against me. You have shared your lunch with me. You have given me rides when my car needed repair. You worked hard when the going was rough. you visited me in the hospital when I was sick. You sent me flowers when I was laid up at home. You are the people that make me smile when I get up everyday.
Thank you to all the people that I meet each day. The person that holds the door when I have my hands full. The gentleman that bought my coffee out of generosity. The person that help me fix the flat tire on my bike. The girl that caught my dog when she ran out the front door. I may not know you but your generosity is not forgotten for I pay it forward whenever I can. You are the strength of our community and it is your small acts of kindness that give everyone hope that there is still good on this earth.
I would like this to be a Thanksgiving to remember. So, I will give thanks to each of you and give of myself to thank you for your selflessness that you have shown to me.
Thank you to all of you.