Give Thanks Every Day

Thanksgiving a year ago was unlike any of the other some 47 I’ve been around to celebrate. Thanksgiving 2014 was the first time in my life I didn’t get to celebrate with my father. He was recuperating from a stroke and was too weak to travel or to host the holiday as he and my mother had done forever. I was thankful that he was still alive and was recovering very well from the stroke.

I was thankful for my mom, who is the rock of our family. Not only was she caring for dad, but she was trying very hard to keep Thanksgiving dinner on the calendar and on the menu. But my sisters and I were not about to be a bunch of turkeys and be a burden. Mom had enough to worry about. We all did. And what was odd, I was thankful for that worry.

It takes an event like a loved one suffering an accident or some other sort of calamity for us to realize just how lucky we have it. So be thankful for all the blessings you have, and not just on Thanksgiving Day. Be thankful every day.

Without the family meeting at Mom and Dad’s for Thanksgiving Day dinner, we rallied around our own smaller family units, knowing that we would make up for the lost holiday together and the dinner celebration when Dad was feeling better. I volunteered to cook my first turkey. I got a quizzical look from my wife, who is a wonderful cook, but she encouraged me nonetheless.

I’m thankful for her every day.

Our daughter, then 11 years old, volunteered to make several side dishes and she aced each one.

I’m thankful for her every day.

We sat down at our dinner table in our warm house and had a Thanksgiving feast for three. Our home smelled wonderful. The rich aroma of fresh rosemary tucked under the turkey’s shimmering crisp skin, along with the smell of the stuffing and the sweet smell of the candied yams were intoxicating.

We had more than enough food that day and we had a roof overhead.

I’m thankful for those two things every day.

I’m thankful for a lot of things: my career, my friends, my health, my country and my faith. I’m thankful for this magazine and the opportunity to provide news and entertainment to so many.

I realize, though, that it can all be taken away in an instant. We’re all just one heartbeat away from not being at the table for the next Thanksgiving dinner. So be thankful that you are. As a way to honor that fact, give back to your community so someone can tell you “Thanks.” In that respect you’re giving thanks. Thanks giving.

Live a lifestyle that you can be thankful for every day.