Infinite blessings and reasons to be thankful

Published 9:26 pm Thursday, November 21, 2019

Writing about what to be thankful for should be an easy column, right? Like many of us, I have much for which to be thankful.

But that’s just it.

Having many reasons to give thanks, and many people to thank, a few hundred words are not near enough to do it. So, before I go further, I am thankful for all of those people with whom I have crossed paths, whether in person, on the phone or in some other manner.


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Still, with Thanksgiving on the horizon, there are specific people, and specific events that I want to reflect on and express my gratitude for their influence on me and my life.

I’m going to start with my father-in-law Michael.

I can’t help but think of him daily when I interact with my daughter, Michelle. Yes, she is named after him.

On the day he died, we were having a fun conversation and a great experience hiking on a mountain trail to get a view of a waterfall. I’m forever thankful he got to see that waterfall, because as I later learned from my wife, he loved to see waterfalls, and he was at peace in those precious moments before he died.

He physically didn’t make it off the trail that day, but he’s still with all of us — my daughter in particular — in ways big and small. I know our daughter will learn more about him as she grows older, because I will share what little I got to know of him, and my wife will share the great, smart and humorous man she knew him to be.

And speaking of my daughter, I am thankful that she is in a better preschool, with wonderful teachers who have helped her immeasurably. I am thankful for them, and I am thankful for my daughter every day.

I am incredibly enriched by her spirit, and her smarts, and her bit of sass, and her empathy for others. I knew when I found out I would be a father that my life would change, but it’s incredible to experience just how much. It’s challenging as a parent to be a part of raising her, but I am blessed beyond all measure to be a part of her life and to watch her grow.

But for whatever credit I get, it’s my wife who deserves much more.

She holds everything together in our lives — making sure we have the things we need in the very limited budget we have, and being creative in the things she does with our daughter while helping keep me in line too, especially in reminding me, many times over, of things I need to do. I couldn’t ask for a better wife.

Did I tell you she can cook, too? There’s something to be thankful for right there. As she’s juggling what seems like a thousand different things, she finds time to cook things for me, my daughter and for others. And it’s a joy to watch as my daughter pulls a chair to the kitchen counter and they prepare a meal together.

I am also thankful for my parents, who in the middle of their own challenges this year, have found ways to help us, even if they didn’t know they were doing that.

And I am thankful for everyone who has taken the time to read my columns and stories throughout the year, and for those who have taken the time to reach out to me, either by email, by phone or in person, and shared a piece of their lives with me.

Having moved eight times in the last 12-and-a-half years, I always feel like a bit of an outsider. Still, everyone here has welcomed me as well as anywhere I’ve ever lived or worked.

I have received many graces in my life this year, and for all of them, and especially my wife and daughter, I am thankful.