What are you Thankful For?

Between all the Halloween decorations, and Christmas parties, it seems that Thanksgiving gets short shrift. So, I thought I’d try to help give this holiday some of it’s due.

On Tuesday, I actually drove to my 2nd job early, and had enough time to grab a bite to eat before teaching my class. As I sat down to eat, I overheard a woman in the cafeteria ask a blind man what help he needed. He needed to go to the bathroom, and she replied, “well, I’ll have to get a man to help you.”

So, I decided to help him. We walked through the cafeteria around several tables and chairs. His dog did a good job of helping him not run into things, but he couldn’t figure out why his dog kept running into him. I told him that it was a real obstacle course, and then he realized his dog was acting appropriately. After he was finished using the restroom, he told me that he wanted to catch the bus, so I helped direct him outside to the bus stop. (And of course, I ended up being late for class that I had expected to be early for.)

So, this experience helped remind me of a real appreciation for eyesight. About 10 years ago, I had LASIK done to my eyes so that I don’t need glasses or contacts. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is. I’ve needed glasses since about the 3rd grade, and it was sure wonderful to wake up and be able to read the alarm clock. I can’t imagine being completely blind and needing a Seeing Eye dog.

So, in addition to my eyesight, I’m thankful for my family. It’s a little smaller now; I lost a sister 10 years ago to a brain tumor, and a brother 2 years ago to a car accident. My parents are starting to get up in age, and I expect they won’t be around in the next 10-20 years. I do have 2 children of my own (and 1 on the way), and while I am grateful for them, there is still a hole in my heart for my brother and sister who have passed on.

So, I thought I would open it up. What are you thankful for?

18 comments on “What are you Thankful For?

  1. Yes, it’s easy to forget. I have tried to build daily reminders into my lifestyle so that I can remember to include the Lord in my life each day.

  2. Of course, I’m thankful for my health and my family. Both of those things are tremendous blessings in themselves. I and my family have been very blessed in that respect.

    Even though I have a lot of issues with the Church, I’m thankful for my faith in the plan of salvation. Working with people who are in the sunset of their lives, having a strong faith in what comes next after this life is a comfort and a blessing.

    I’m also very thankful for technology. Even though an ocean separates me and my family and I miss being with them, the fact that I can talk to them — and even see them — online for such a small price is incredible. I think about my mother when she left Mexico to marry my dad in ’76. Because it was crazy expensive to phone home, the only communication she had with her family was by mail. Mail is slow. Mail to and from Mexico is even slower. So I’m very, very, very thankful for the Internet for that reason, as well as many more.

    Another thing that I am thankful for is citizenship in a great country that I love, as well as residency in another great country that I love. After moving to Norway, I met an Afghan refugee at church whose story really touched me. I wrote about him on my blog a while back and unfortunately, 5 years later, he’s still waiting to hear whether he will be granted asylum here. Whenever I get impatient about things in my life, I try to think of him and how he still can’t really set up any roots in his life. How unfair that I have 2 countries and he has none.

  3. I really enjoyed this post. It inspired me to write briefly about what God has done in my life here.

  4. David, that was a great post. How often we forget to be thankful for the things in our lives that have humbled us.

  5. FD,

    I think you came up with a great list of things many of us take for granted. We really don’t spend enough time appreciating all the wonderful gifts we have.

    David, that was an excellent post.

    When I was a teen, I worked at a hospital. Now as a grad student, I’m working again at a hospital. I think it has really made me appreciate good health. There are many things that I could deal with, but when I see how stroke and Alzheimer’s patients have diminished mental capacity, I think that would be one of the most difficult things for me to experience.

    I’m grateful to have lost 20 pounds and kept it off for a year. Now if I can just get rid of another stubborn 20 pounds, I’ll be all set….

  6. I’m beside myself that my husband can be awake and home for Thanksgiving this year.

    For the entire time we’ve been married, he’s worked nights and has gone to school full time. That’s not the case anymore. Though he goes to school, it’s not enough to interfere with our lives near as much – and we have some sort of job security right now.

    If I may be grateful for what is to come: this Christmas he’ll be done with school. Period. I won’t know what to do with myself.

  7. I’m greatfull that he forgives and forgives and forgives and…

  8. Lisa,

    I’m sure my wife will be happy when I’m done with school this December too. (I’ll be done if I can get my thesis completed….)

    So, I just have a question. Growing up, Football was a big part of Thanksgiving celebration. My wife’s mother hates football, and thinks it is rude to watch football on any day of the week. I feel like I’m in a culture war. Can I get some opinions here?

  9. Record it, hoping that the mother-in-law leaves ASAP and the minute she does, turn it on! 🙂

    Also, reward yourself for being so considerate and having to watch a taped game by buying your favourite game snack. 🙂

  10. LingOfTexas,

    Somehow you re-wrote my entire post on this subject in 10 words!

    Now if only we could forgive as generously as He does…

  11. Since Thanksgiving is at her house, she will not be leaving, so that’s not an option.

    I’m not one of those guys who enjoys watching replays of games. I’d be more inclined to check the score constantly via internet on my phone, and give updates to all the guys who are interested, including her husband.

    Look, I’m big enough to miss a game on Thanksgiving. What bothers me is the idea that watching football is somehow sinful. If that’s truly the case, then BYU should drop its football program.

    I get the idea that she doesn’t like football. But does she have to ruin it for the people who do? I’m happy to go downstairs and watch the game while she wants to gossip with the girls… (Ok, that wasn’t nice…., but I’m really frustrated.) Can we have a little tolerance for football?

  12. Yeah, I don’t understand what the problem is for women who hate football. And the irony in it all is that once they occupy themselves with chit-chat and all the rest, does it really matter that anyone is watching football in the basement?

    Have you got any others there who want to watch, or are you in a house full of football-hating women? 🙂

  13. MH –

    Think of the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Think about what it means for a mother to have family – her children and grandchildren – seated around the table, enjoying the meal she has slaved over for several hours. Think about how the mother has looked forward to having her family together, in the same room, talking, reminiscing and creating new memories. This time is precious to her.

    Football has no place in this picture. Golf, on the other hand….just kidding.

  14. “Football has no place in this picture.”

    Oh, sure it does, or it can! C’mon, what family spends the ENTIRE day seated around the table interracting? I don’t think MH was talking about being absent from the dinner or locking himself in a room to watch football while the rest of the family has meaningful conversation. I think what he had in mind (he can answer himself) is to quietly go and watch the game once dinner is over and the conversation has died down without being looked down upon.

    I think back to Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners with my family. We interracted and we all ate together, but it didn’t last the WHOLE day. The women would start chit-chatting, the men too, and the kids would go and play video games or maybe some would go out for a walk. Not a big deal.

  15. Raechel,

    Isn’t football a form of male bonding? And, while football is definitely male dominated, all of my sisters love football more than their husbands, so I’m not sure it is completely a gender thing either.

    Certainly I have a niece who would prefer to watch the Cowboys and Lions play, rather than talk about canning, child care, and the latest scrapbooking techniques. (These are talked about frequently–I’m not exaggerating.) If we do get into a subject the men like, it usually involves politics, and I frequently end up bashing Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, or other conservative commentators talking about how the end of the world is coming, and that we need to get our guns and year’s supply of food ready. I can’t say I really enjoy being the fly in the ointment on that conversation either.

    Let’s look at your golf example for a minute. So, if the guys slaved over the barbecue grill, and wanted everyone there to eat it, reminisce, etc, you would prefer to sit at the table for 8 hours talking about deer hunting, changing the transmission in your car, mixed martial arts fighting, and other things you are obviously completely uninterested in, rather than watch the US Open or the Masters Golf Tournament with your girlfriends who all prefer to watch golf. Would you really sit there year after year, talking about Hulk Hogan and the latest in the WWF, and not complain?

    It is funny to me that women expect the men to be completely interested in their conversation on certain days, and then during baby wedding showers and want nothing to do with men. My point is to live and let live. Certainly there are plenty of men in the house who enjoy a football game. Perhaps even golf….. (While I have been to the Master’s tournament, it is not one of my top 5 favorite sports to watch on tv.)

    FD had it right. If the Patriots or Raiders are playing, I’d probably have a hard time QUIETLY watching the games, but the basement is well-insulated enough that our male bonding won’t get too out of control….

    I didn’t mean to turn this negative. Raechel, what are you thankful for?

  16. Sorry for such a belated response, especially to MH and a comment to FD; when I said, “Football has no place in this picture”, I meant from the vantage point of MH’s mother-in-law.

    Anyway, I am thankful for having a roof over my head, for being able to pay my bills and not have to choose between medication and food. I’m thankful to have a loving family that celebrates the holidays together. I’m thankful I can travel and see others parts of the world. Life is good.

  17. […] what are you thankful for? […]

  18. […] you’re thankful for.  It doesn’t have to necessarily be Mormon-related.  I realize I asked this question last year, and I talked about the First Thanksgiving last year, but I think we don’t talk about our […]

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