Give thanks to the people who bring your life joy and peace

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”  Marcel Proust

This Thanksgiving, while you’re busy watching the football game, cleaning up the dinner table and planning your Black Friday shopping experience, take a moment to give thanks to the people in your life that we so often take for granted.

As our lives settle into a routine, I think it’s easy for all of us to just assume that the people in our lives will be here for an infinite amount of time. But that’s not reality. Life is filled with unpredictability, which can easily rob us of our time here on earth. Giving thanks to those who’ve brought joy, laughter and care to our lives on this day of gratitude should be just as important as the turkey, the cranberry sauce and all the trimmings.

This year was challenging for me on so many levels. It was a roller coaster of emotions and uncertainties, which tested the very fibers of my character, morals and personal strength.  But as the clouds begin to clear and the comfort of normalcy begins to return, I realize that it wasn’t some divine miracle which helped me through the storm, but the people who rode with me along the way.

For starters, my remarkable wife. Her unwavering love, support and patience is truly incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a truer sense of unconditional love, and I consider myself truly blessed that she chose me to walk through life with.

My in-laws opened their door to both my wife and I to live indefinetly until we found a new home in Colorado. While it was challenging at times for everyone, it provided us with the security and comfort we needed during a very difficult transition. Words cannot express my appreciation for everything that was provided to us over the last five months.

My sister and brother-in-law understood how difficult moving to a new state could be, and made every effort to make sure we felt like we always had a “home” at their house. From casual dinners to trips to the park, they went above and beyond in their effort to make us feel like a part of something. Not to mention they allowed us to see our little nephew as often as we wanted. He is an amazing little boy and I can’t wait to watching him grow up – he’s filled my life with such warmth and joy. My gratitude to them is immeasurable.

To my wonderful friend of over 15 years back in New Jersey. While the miles might keep us from seeing each other regularly, technology has kept us connected. She was instrumental in listening to me vent about my problems, and always had a kind, compassionate word to help get me through. She never judged or criticized how I was feeling or making me feel bad for feeling that way. THAT is what a true friend is all about – giving advice, but knowing when sometimes you just have to listen. It’s rare that you find someone you can call your “friend” for that long. I am truly blessed to still call her one of mine.

Thornton Wilder once said, “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” Looking back at the paragraphs above, I’d say that my treasure chest is pretty full. Take this holiday of gratitude to tell those who mean so much to you how thankful you are to have them in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!