This year as we celebrate Thanksgiving, the time has come to consider not only the traditional things for which we are grateful but to think beyond the norm and be thankful other things we might take for granted. That being said, I would be remiss if I did not say I am grateful for my loving husband and family, my friends, my warm home, my church, and food on my table. I am especially thankful for my niece and nephews who have been like my own children their entire lives. I am grateful they have grown up to be good citizens and wonderful parents to their own children.
What else can I add to this list? I am grateful I am a United States (U.S.) citizen and not a poor refugee from Guatemala who is walking hundreds of miles without knowing the country they are heading toward is unwilling to accept them.
I am thankful for the U.S. healthcare systems (yes, really.) Even though we have lots of room for improvement in service to the needy, I appreciate the years of study our doctors and medical professionals go through to give us the best care in the world. I am truly indebted to my orthopedic surgeon and my husband who had to take over household chores and drive me around while I healed.
I am appreciative that Pope Francis has acknowledged the practice of moving pedophile priests from parish-to-parish and stopped the practice around the world and I am especially grateful to the Grand Jury in Pennsylvania, my home state, for having the courage to break from the powerful church and bring visibility to this severe problem.
I am pleased that my Alma Mater, Penn State is back on track to be a fine educational institution with a limited focus on sports. I am glad for the Internet without which I would not be communicating with you. How about smartphones? I well remember the party lines and phones on the wall. I remember the beeper I carried when I was on the road for my first job. Sometimes I would travel one hundred miles to a pay phone to answer a page. How about color TV and streaming video, or social media to keep in touch with friends and families? Airplanes allow us to live far apart from family but be there in a few hours if needed.
I am happy there is an organization called CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) that helps children who have been removed from their parents for abuse, drug use or general neglect and I am thrilled to have been sworn into this organization last week as a volunteer.
I am truly grateful for the things we take for granted but were not available to my parents as they grew up – indoor plumbing, soft toilet paper, fast food meals, frozen foods, fresh vegetables that I don’t have to grow myself and so much more.
Most of all, I am thankful for all of my readers and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! I would love to hear about the things you are thankful for this year!