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Pause, reflect on all the good life brings

| Thursday, Nov. 25, 2004

It's funny how things turn out sometimes. This column was originally going to be about a local woman who has adopted a whole platoon in Iraq. Such selflessness should be recognized and what better time than Thanksgiving?

Unfortunately, after trying unsuccessfully for four days to make contact, I was a basket case as my deadline loomed. My son, in his usual upbeat way, told me not to be upset. His advice was to calm down and write about something else.

My son's rather simplistic approach to the problem made me stop and think. Ready with a somewhat negative and rude comment to his suggestion, I was reminded yet again of what is truly important, and as trite as it may sound, I began to count my blessings. With Thanksgiving here, I was remembering those people and things for which I am utterly thankful.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my family. My children are a constant source of inspiration, humor, pride and unconditional love. Of everything life has to offer, I am most thankful that I did not miss this rewarding gift called motherhood.

This is particularly true for me, since the summer I became engaged to their father, my doctor told me I would never be able to bear children. I thank Him every day of my life that the doctor was wrong and God, in infinite wisdom, knew better.

I am also thankful for my husband. Next month we will celebrate another anniversary, and every year my husband reminds me that on our wedding day I told him I had no idea what the future would hold, but that I could promise him life would never be boring. He reminds me every December that I did uphold that promise.

My husband and I are thankful that, although we have both have lost a parent, we still each have a parent. And that even though we lost a father and a mother respectively, we still have memories which we both hold dear. We are thankful that my father is healthy and happy in Florida and that my mother-in-law's eyesight has been restored and she will be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner.

We are blessed with good friends and make a conscious effort to spend time with them. We are like millions of others. We work, we play, we laugh, we argue and we make up. Occasionally, we even cry. But given the choice, there is not much we would change. I'm not really sure when middle age officially begins, but I suspect in a few more years we may be there. However, I do know I intend to fight old age tooth and nail and will not accept growing old gracefully. Aging yes, but growing old, never! Because I truly believe that fairy tales come true if only you are young at heart.

And so as we carve the turkey on Thanksgiving and thank the Lord for our many blessings, these are the things I will think about. I will look forward to the first snowflakes this year and the distant promise of spring to come. I will look forward to the natural passage of time and, hopefully, another year spent with all my family and friends.

I wish the same for all of you. Even when the world's demands press in on you, remember to take time to count your blessings and enjoy the loved ones around you.

Deborah Vernon of Arnold is a community columnist for the Valley News Dispatch. Her column appears monthly.

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