There was another topic planned for today’s column, but then I noticed that it would run on Nov. 17, my dad’s birthday. Whenever thoughts turn toward Dad, they cannot help but turn toward Mother. She died at age 82 on Nov. 15, 2009, two days before what would have been his 89th birthday.

It’s appropriate that it’s less than a week away from Thanksgiving, because it was my parents who taught me how to express thanks. My two brothers and I might have given our folks a run for their money when we were kids, but we certainly had plenty of training and practice in saying the “magic words” of “please” and “thank you.”

As soon as each of learned how to write, we were taught how to write thank-you notes in appreciation of birthday and Christmas gifts (at least those which didn’t come from Santa). The older my brothers, our younger sister and I got, the more we realized what we had to be grateful for.

We didn’t always get everything that we wanted, but our parents made sure we had everything that we needed. This included nice clothes, plenty of Mother’s good cooking, a warm house, an even warmer home atmosphere, discipline when we needed it, and encouragement and support when we needed those the most.

Above all, Mother and Dad gave us unconditional love and great examples of their unlimited love for and faith in God based on the way they lived their lives.

In all, we had and still have countless reasons to give thanks for all that our parents gave us. Above all, we have more than countless reasons to give thanks to God for all His blessings — not just on Thanksgiving Day but on every day of our lives.


Everything we have is a gift from God;

the least we can do is to give thanks.

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