I try to not be a person who only reflects on what they have to be thankful for during Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for that I often wonder how I became so lucky.
I remember a church lesson many years ago where we were asked to spend a few minutes writing down all the things we were thankful for. I wrote down things like "family", "friends", "basketball", and "Hostess".
This list was written before I was married. I didn't understand about giving everything you've got in a marriage, and about everything you get in return. I didn't have kids so I had no comprehension about how you could love someone more than words with every cell of your body. I didn't fully grasp how many people make tremendous sacrifices so I can live in the kind of country, community, and neighborhood I live in. I didn't understand the difference between shallow high school friendships and friends who will be there through thick or thin, let you borrow their rock sifter, or help out with watching the kids when something unforeseen comes up. I was certainly thankful for Hostess, but at the time I hadn't experienced how wonderful, scrumptious, and glorious are pumpkin pies from Costco.
My thankfulness was not as developed for things like in-laws, parents, siblings, a good job, semi-reliable transportation, a nice house, cable so I can watch Jazz games, challenges, health, an ability to play the piano, a decent jump shot as long as nobody is guarding me, or a functioning air conditioner.
I'm thankful to be a husband and dad. Even though it's messy, I love having Snow White and Dora underwear all over the house, dirty fingerprints on doors, and spills on tables because I know they won't last forever and one day I'll miss all that stuff. I'm thankful for little kids who come out of their rooms at night when they're not supposed to and say "Daddy, can I have one more hug and kiss?"
I am without a doubt the most lucky, blessed, and fortunate guy I know. With all my blessings, I couldn't ask for more. Although I wouldn't complain about an unlimited supply of pumpkin pie.