By John R. Greenwood
I am thankful to be here to enjoy the faces around me; the faces of family, friends, coworkers, and everyone else who passes me during the day. That is what I'm most thankful for today.
Faces are the beginning, they are where happiness begins. It starts off with that first look in the mirror. I might not be thrilled with the quality of what I see in the mirror in the morning but the fact that there is someone there is pretty significant on the "Thank You" scale.
The next face I see is the one I'm most thankful for; it's the face of the person who loves me most. She vowed to love me through thick and thin and she's kept her word. She feeds me, clothes me, and keeps me out of harms way. She encourages my good decisions and discourages my bad ones. She lifts me when I need it most and reminds me of things when it's important that I not forget. I am thankful God made her hand fit mine so well.
The next faces I see are in photographs; photographs of sons, their wives, and the grandsons they have gifted to the world. Those cherished faces show up on walls, in albums, and out in cyber-space where you can find them posted for the world. I am thankful for the opportunity to enjoy those faces with the click of a mouse or the push of a cell phone button. Those are the faces that swell my head with pride and fill my heart with love.
The next face I am thankful for belongs to my sister. She is the one who placed music in my heart and artistry in my soul. She taught me lessons that many people never learn. She taught me about survival and endurance in a world that doesn't always play fair. She is my personal hero and I am thankful beyond words for her.
I am thankful for the parents who created my face and I miss them. They provided volumes of fond memories that sustain me. They gave me a sense of humor that I use to survive. They taught me right from wrong. They emphasized common sense, good manners, and the value of a "Please and Thank You". They laid the foundation that enables me to enjoy my life and all the faces that fill it. They made mistakes, but they also told me to learn from my mistakes, so I did. I learned from theirs and mine. I am thankful that I listened to that advice most.
I am thankful for the faces I see Monday through Friday- the ones that work by my side. They show up everyday so they can pay their mortgages and support the faces in their homes. The camaraderie and our common goals lift me and will keep me showing up long after my time comes. Work has defined much of my life. Work has enabled me to meet some of the most beautiful faces in the world. Beauty in the form of honesty, integrity, ambition, and energy. Faces full of character and strength.
I have known hundreds of faces that overflowed with compassion for faces of people they have never have met. I am thankful for the faces of all the fundraisers and volunteers I have known.
We should all be thankful for the faces in uniform; the bravest of the brave, the faces of the men and women who put them in foreign countries defending our freedom, the faces who show up in fire trucks, ambulances and police cruisers. Uniformed faces are out there right now fighting danger while we watch our football games and eat onion dip in warm homes.
We all have different faces to be thankful for today, so take a minute and call them and tell them. The face you bring a smile to may spread to others.
Happy Thanksgiving to my entire family.
You gave me a "happy-face" today.