Editor’s note: No political arguing or economic pondering today, just a plateful of gratitude. Thank you for sharing your thankful thoughts. Happy Thanksgiving!
As I recount my reasons to be thankful, I’m humbled to remember that not everyone is so blessed. I’m thankful for two healthy sons (one born three months ago) and my job, since my husband got laid off in September. I’m thankful that said husband is loving, caring and a great help around the house.
I’m thankful we have a home and money for food, things we often take for granted. I’m grateful for the love and support of friends and family. And most of all, I’m thankful that the source of all these blessings — the God of the universe — loves me (and you) enough to provide them and carry us through tough times.
If we remember to truly love those around us, we might be a reason someone else is thankful.
I know my many blessings are impossible to count. But I tend to be unthankful and fuss. Sadly, my son inherited this unlucky gene. I’m trying to help him. If he has one balloon but is grumbling for another, I take away the one he has. “If you can’t be thankful for what you have, you can do without.” But what about me?
Suppose the day I complained about the mound of dirty laundry, the closet would empty? Or when I fussed because I wearied of cooking, the stove would quit? Or when I wished I could stay in bed all day, suppose I’d develop a dread disease and truly stay there? The thought is scary.
So right now, I’m thankful for a son like mine. I can learn from him. I’m thankful for a land of opportunity where I can serve God without fear. I’m thankful for a large circle of family and friends. Life is blessed when we share it.
Lastly, I’m thankful to God for life, love and salvation through his Son. Truly I am blessed.
I’m just your average teenager.
There are clothes on my back, food on the table and a roof over my head. But sometimes, I forget all that, in light of a new cell phone or a new Jonas Brothers CD.
This year, however, I take in the world around me and wonder how I could ever take anything for granted — my home, my friends and family, all of it.
This Thanksgiving, I’m not just thankful for the bare essentials, but for everything: 16 years worth of blessings. Every friend, every mistake, every experience; they all make me who I am.
In a world that calls for change, sometimes that’s all you have: yourself. I’m thankful for who I am, and everything and every person who helped me get here.
I’m just your average teenager.
I am thankful for my family that continues to grow, knowing others are alone.
I am thankful for my home, knowing others have no home.
I am thankful for our grocery stores and the vast choices available, knowing many go hungry.
I am thankful for the privilege of voting, knowing people in other parts of the world have lost their lives trying to do what so many of us take for granted.
I began 2008 with losing my Bible, a cherished first anniversary gift from my husband, 11 years worth of notes marked inside.
Our family derives 100 percent of our income from the residential real estate market. We began noticing a market shift in November 2007 and have been scrambling all year to reinvent how we do business to defend against a significant decrease in this year’s income over last.
In September, exactly one week to the day before our catastrophic health insurance policy was to be replaced with a great, comprehensive one, swollen lymph nodes were found during an emergency appendectomy. The diagnosis was made three days later on our 12th wedding anniversary: Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
People wonder how I could possibly be thankful this season. But I am more thankful this year than any in recent memory. Our struggle has caused me to cling even more to God, allowing me to know him in a way that I never would have otherwise.
Choosing thankfulness has allowed me to realize I’m the richest woman I know.
Thanksgiving Day is my 68th birthday. Great thanks for my life to the Lied Liver Transplant Center in Omaha, blood donors and a donor who chose to check the donation box.
Thanks are given to another donor who gave double lungs to a close friend who received that gift in St. Louis in August.
My transplant was in 2004, and now I share in the lives of my family, drive again and live on my own. Miracles!
I am thankful for magic moments with grandchildren: a phone call from my 5-year-old grandson saying “I am good reader, Grandmother”; hearing my 8-year-old granddaughter sing a prayer before her dad’s birthday; helping a 10-year-old adopt a Christmas family.
Bless those who donate blood and organs. Profound thanks pour from my heart for these generous gifts of life.
Cheryl Barnett McLaughlin
We are thankful to be living among the most giving people on Earth. People who are the first to rush in when disaster strikes, however distant. People whose workplaces, churches, service and social organizations freely extend helping hands.
And for little people who are so serious as they place cans in their schools’ Harvesters bins or write thank-you notes to soldiers. Also, for teenage people who donate blood or sleep in cardboard boxes to solicit funds for the homeless, or sew neck coolers for battlefield troops or study ballroom steps to share a tea dance with their elders.
True, these are a people who are sometimes self-indulgent and raucous and forgetful of history’s lessons, but they are also a people who seem incurably afflicted with an abundance of heart. We are grateful for these, our fellow Americans, and proud of them, too.
Bruce and Reta Jo Mitchell
I’m thankful to be alive. I have two wonderful daughters, two great sons-in-law, a lovely, beautiful, genius, 14-month-old granddaughter and another on the way. I am thankful I have a good family and friends. I love being alive!
I am thankful that I am able to learn something new every day. I am thankful I was born a fair person with no prejudices. I am thankful I was born free. I am thankful I was born in this country, which permits people to have a voice and countless opportunities.
Even though we are going through bad times, I am thankful, because I know we will pull together and see this through. I have recently lost a lot of salary, but I am thankful it is not worse.
At this special time, I am grateful for:
T: (being) Together for 68 years.
H: Health and happiness.
A: Almighty God.
N: Neighbors who are special.
K: Kindness from everyone.
F: Family and friends.
L: Love of all people.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and remember all those who aren’t as fortunate as we are here in the United States.
I am thankful to be alive. On July 20, 2007, my sister’s birthday, I entered the emergency room at St. Luke’s South Hospital for an emergency operation.
I am also thankful to live in America, the greatest country on Earth.
And last but not least, I am thankful that I have a job in troubled times.
I am thankful for my dad. He is 93, and I have been his caregiver for nearly 10 years. I am thankful that he still feeds himself, still knows when he wants to “potty,” still can use the telephone and still knows his grandkids and great-grandkids. He is “iffy” on the great-great grandkids.
He knows all of his medication and will tell me if one of his pills doesn’t look right. He has a telephone romance with a dear, sweet friend from church. He has missed church since he was placed on hospice two years ago.
I am especially thankful that my dad is still alive and that he loves me unconditionally.
North Kansas City
For someone who will be 78 years old in a couple of months, I think that is something to be thankful for. My children are still working at their jobs, and mostly in good health. I am certainly thankful for my health, which allows me to do volunteer work that gives me a sense of satisfaction.
I lost a son-in-law three years ago to a brain tumor, and felt at the time that it was so unfair that a young man was taken who was so productive and so well loved by his family. Now I am so thankful that he was in my daughter’s life for 25 years and showed such love.
I am thankful that I was able to get a new knee so I can still get around well, that I was able to have cataract surgery and don’t have to wear glasses all the time anymore. (Now if I could get a new memory stick, I’d have it made.)
I have a home, family, nice neighbors, a good church and time to enjoy all of them.
Yes, I feel that I have a lot to be thankful for.
I am thankful for a lot of things. I am thankful for my parents and my sister because they always protect me and care for me. I am thankful for God and Jesus because they created all of us and they created houses and everything for you and me.
I am thankful for clothes and food because they keep us warm and keep us healthy. I am thankful for a house because we don’t have to live in the cold. I am thankful for a cozy soft bed so I can sleep terrific. I am thankful for laundry rooms because we don’t have to be dirty all of the time.
I am thankful for school so we can learn lots of great stuff. I am thankful for many things.
Jack Plank, age 8
I am very thankful I was raised by wonderful parents. I firmly believe the greatest gift parents can give children is to make end-of-life wishes known and to provide clear directions for funeral planning and liquidation of assets.
My task was made so much easier because my parents were generous, thoughtful and very organized.
I am thankful to God that I live in the United States. Having just returned from a short-term medical mission trip earlier this month to Nicaragua, those who live in poverty here in America have nothing to complain about. Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America.
Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, is full of trash, diesel fumes and congestion. A livable middle-class home in Managua would be condemned in Kansas City. You cannot drink the water for fear of traveler’s diarrhea.
The government promises people better living conditions but does not deliver. People are afraid to vote against candidates of the Sandinista government for fear of terror. Guards are stationed in front of nearly every business to deter crime.
Arriving back in Kansas City, I am thankful to call America the last great hope on Earth. We are not a perfect nation, but no other country comes close.
I’ve always been extraordinarily thankful for fresh starts and clean sheets. And that goes double or more for family, good neighbors, the kindness of strangers and great love.
I don’t think I’d barter with imagination, curiosity or optimism.
My life would be poorer without blue cheese-stuffed olives, a paint color called ambrosia, reggae music and dancing in the kitchen. I never tire of watching “Midnight Cowboy,” listening to Etta James and doing nothing with life-long friends.
I live better because of well-written books, 30-minute meals, a self-cleaning oven and an occasional poem that explodes upon contact. I would hate to give up my worn leather gloves, funny jokes and really hot coffee.
This year though I’m particularly thankful for the new family in the White House, resilience, hope and the staff at the place my mother is learning to call home.
Kansas City, Kan.
This Thanksgiving we will make lemonade, made from real lemons. I’ll give a toast that my boys will find corny, but that’s OK.
It’s easy to acknowledge my blessings, to enjoy the lemonade. What’s difficult is to find hope within the sour lemons life hands me.
I’m thankful for the people and circumstances in my life that bring me constant hope. The doctor at the nursing home where I work who hugs the residents — not a job requirement, but a human one. The bonds of siblings who travel from four states to support my mom, who recently lost my stepfather. The friendship of my father, stepfather and mother, taking a sour situation and turning it sweet for all to enjoy.
The lifelong friends from high school, college and former jobs who are there in tough times even when I haven’t seen them in years. My family members, who sustain each other daily.
When life gives you lemons, lemonade is the hope realized. Hope turns sour into sweet and makes me thankful.
At the end of the day, I park my car along the curb in front of our house. I can see two pointy ears in the bedroom window. My cat, Bolivar, is watching me, and by the time I’ve unlocked the front door, he is there to greet me and rub against my leg. He follows me throughout the house, always ready to play. When I finally settle onto the couch, he jumps onto my lap, makes himself comfortable and purrs. I am so thankful for my little buddy.
But I am even more thankful for my husband, Dan, who adopted Bolivar as a surprise for me a year ago. In all the years I had known Dan, he had told me he did not like cats. But then he chose this sweet orange-and-white cat for me, not knowing that once Bolivar came home, he would fall in love with him, too. Dan put aside his own uncertainty about cats because he wanted to make me happy.
These days, when I get ready for work in the morning and see Dan sleeping with Bolivar curled up at his feet, I am thankful.
Lisa Ploch Swope
The top 10 things I am most thankful for in 2008
10. My car still runs most of the time.
9. Although the job search has been arduous, I have met some wonderful people along the way.
8. Being unemployed for a long stretch has forced me back into writing, my first love.
7. Free art receptions around KC and right here in Johnson County (Merriam, Prairie Village, and the Convention Center).
6. Great music around KC, and no cover many places.
5. Groceries on the table.
4. A roof over our heads.
3. Good friends — they are a salve for the weary soul.
2. Family who cares.
1. A faith renewed. God’s bounty is amazing, and his bountiful love is reason to be joyful.
On Thanksgiving this year, my mother will turn 80 years old. I am so thankful that she is still healthy and active. I could not imagine life without her around.
Her favorite thing in life (except maybe for bingo) is to be with her children and grandchildren. To celebrate her turning 80, my brother and two sisters and I are taking her on a Caribbean cruise, along with several other family members. I can’t think of a better way to show Mom how thankful we are for her.
I am thankful for God, for his faithfulness through thick and thin, and the blessings and wisdom he’s given me and my family over the years.
I am thankful for running water, food, a roof over my head, my health, my freedom to worship and my freedom to work where and how I want. I’m thankful that my husband and I are self-employed and have the creativity to change or switch the type of work we can do.
I’m thankful for my freedom to vote.
I’m thankful for my husband and children, our extended family and our church family and my neighbors and friends. I’m thankful for smiling faces who look at me as I walk by, smiling at them. I’m thankful for the older generation who has mentored me, loved me and shown me how to live a great life.
I’m thankful for my children and my grandchild. I’m thankful I’ve been able to spend time with them, loving and nurturing them.
I’m thankful for my precious family. While many of our Forester family matriarchs and patriarchs have gone to their heavenly reward, I am so very thankful that their progeny still can come together. We did so this year on Oct. 11 for a “cousin” family reunion. the first in more than 20 years.
My gratitude comes from being able to reconnect with the cousins of my youth and to celebrate the additions to our family: new cousins from adults to infants to the second, third and fourth generations.
How thankful we are that everyone came from far to relive our memories and connections to one another, thanking God for his safety, mercy and goodness.
God’s blessings on each family represented this Thanksgiving — and to all families everywhere! May those who are near be together and those who are far away be remembered and cherished. God bless America!