I am writing this post on my birthday, November 19, 2013. On the day that I turned 61, I felt the necessity not only reflect on these past years but also to express gratitude that I made it this far.

Although my positive parent role models (my dad and mom) are 89 and 84, I never felt that it was a given that I would live this long. I don’t take any credit for my good fortune. Everything I have is a direct result of a loving God.

I must say, I don’t know where all the time went. It seems like it was yesterday when I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to stay up to watch Johnny Carson (Jay Leno replaced Carson). Now, because I get up so early (4:30 AM), it’s hard to stay up past 10 PM. I also feel that since getting older, the clock seems to be moving a lot faster than it did when I was a kid. Didn’t we just celebrate the New Year??

As I have gotten older I have grown to appreciate the little things that life has to offer. When you are young, you have the impression that you are invincible. You feel that nothing can hurt you and that you can overcome any obstacle.  As you get older though you understand that you are not in control of every circumstance that we are faced with.  In some cases it is the decisions and actions of others that can change the direction that our lives are moving. This can be either positive or negative. In all other cases we have to take responsibility for what we do.

There were times in my life when I felt that I wasn’t where I should be. I remember a few years ago on one of those days that I was feeling sorry for myself. You know what I’m talking about. There were a number of life’s’ issues in full bloom. I was walking with my head down, wondering what would become of me. At a certain moment I looked up and saw a young man sitting in a wheel chair. What made this person so easy to remember was that he had no arms or legs. I could not help but stare. I was fixated on his condition. He was totally helpless. He could not feed himself, get dressed or even use the bathroom without the help of someone else. This sight brought to mind that what I was worrying about seemed so insignificant.

I didn’t know him but at least in that moment he seemed completely at peace with himself.

When I saw this young man it became clear to me that maybe my life wasn’t as messed up as I thought it was. After all there were many things I could do that he would never be able to do. I’m talking about those little things like walking or even reaching in my pocket to feel the dust that is mingled in with the loose change. These are experiences that he will never have.  

I remember what was shared with me by a wise man many years my senior. He told me that I my life should always be filled with gratitude and just in case I forgot, God would place something in front of me that would force me to remember. God in his infinite wisdom put this person in my path so that I could clear my mind and truly see just how relative my issues were.

It also helped me to understand that I am a lot better off than I think I am.  I keep that young man in my mind. It helps me to appreciate that where ever I am life is good.

Thanksgiving is just a few days away. This year I will spend it with two of my three sons. The third son will celebrate this holiday with his mothers’ family.  I also understand that my grand kids will come by.  There will be a lot going on Thursday.

My only regret is that parents won’t be here. My Mom suffers from dementia and she is in a nursing home. My Dad is in the same place receiving treatment for a recent illness. I will spend part of that day visiting with them.

I’ve been planning what I will be my Thanksgiving meal. This is my first time being the “holiday chef”.  I’ve been practicing all year long, trying out different recipes and I think I have come up with a food combination that will make everyone happy.  I just hope I don’t have to take any one to the emergency room.

On this day gratitude should be the main theme at everyone’s house. At our house we will spend the day eating good food, watching some football and enjoying each others’ company.




I’m the guy whose glass is always ½ full.






  • I’m really2x touch, I love you Mr. Wendell, you know what i’ll see the characteristics of my Father of you..

  • This is an excellent write 🙂

    God does put those in your path to remind you of things to be Thankful for, just as he uses you through your blog.

    Look at everything through the eyes of a child, and thank God for everything good or bad.

  • God is good all the time and all the time god is good. He guides us in all circumstances. We just need to pay attention to his message. God bless your Thanksgiving Day. I’m sure you created a marvelous feast. Much love for your mother and father.

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