Ah, Thanksgiving. A time for feasting, gathering, reminiscing, laughing, and remembering. Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays that I never stopped loving.
Thanksgiving, like Independence Day, is an American invention. Before the founding of this Republic, neither holiday existed. Yes, the pilgrims did celebrate their feast before the Founding Fathers were born, but it was America of all nations that remembered to give thanks.
To give thanks. Think about that. Thanks to whom? Does it matter?
It matters to me. I am thankful to a lot of people for a lot of things. Thanksgiving is a reminder to the nation to remember where we came from, how we got here, and who stood by us along the way.
So without further ado, the top 5 things I am thankful for:
1. I am thankful to God for everything. This life He gave me has a purpose, and it's a gift to be treasured every day. I am thankful for His gift, through the good times that I enjoy as well as the bad times through which I learn and become stronger.
2. I am thankful for my wife and daughter. If not for their love and support, I would be a broken, bitter man. They keep me sane and nourish me with happiness. I do not understand how anyone can take their family for granted. There are those in my past family history who failed to learn this lesson, and the sad, bitter loneliness of their meager existence serves as a warning not to follow their path.
3. I am thankful that I have work to do. Work may drive me nuts some days, but it is far better than not having any work at all. Work is a gift: of opportunity, of achievement, of improvement for me. Take the gift, make the best of it you can and give it your all. One of the rewards of a job well done is the joy you take in the knowledge that it was your job well done.
4. I am thankful for my friends. Over the years I am thankful that I have accumulated far more friends than enemies. I may not stay in touch with all of them equally well, but they're all loved and appreciated nonetheless.
5. I am thankful to be an American. America, in the immortal words of President Ronald Reagan, is the last, best hope for mankind. Nowhere else in the world, in no other epoc in the history of mankind would I have the freedom and opportunity to seek my highest level in life by the sweat of my own brow. I am thankful for our heritage, our way of life, our history - warts and all- and most especially my fellow Americans who face danger around the world defending our God-given freedom. To our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coasties: THANK YOU FOR KEEPING AMERICA FREE.
What are you thankful for, dear reader?