I love this time of year. Thanksgiving, in my opinion, is a marvellous festival. It’s one of the few celebrations throughout the year that (in Canada) hasn’t been over-commercialized. Outside of turkey and pumpkins there really isn’t a massive ‘gotta buy stuff’ mentality attached. And without all the white noise of retail expectations, it gives me an opportunity to think about the things I’m really thankful for. So here’s the list for this year in no particular order:
1. Parents: I was blessed to be raised in a home that, although desperately light on cash flow, was full of love and support and wise guidance. Although they are both gone now, mom and dad are still alive every minute of every day in my heart, my mind and my actions.
2. Love: Ginger has been the most singular influence on everything that I am. She is my moral compass, my confidante and an angel in her motives and actions. We are approaching our 34th anniversary in a few weeks and I can’t believe that she’s put up with me for 34 years. It amazes me every day that she still loves me as I love her. We still walk down the street holding hands. Interestingly, we have had several encounters over the past few months with complete strangers who have walked over to us and remarked, word for word, “you guys are adorable”. How old do you need to be that strangers think you’re adorable? She’s adorable. She’s my world.
3. Children: Largely due to Ginger (see above), who I lovingly refer to as the ‘amazing parenting machine’, I am the father of two truly remarkable young men. Although they are absolutely different in their lifestyles, attitudes, careers and goals, they are both such good people. They know and do the right things, bringing joy to the lives of everyone they encounter. And they have added two remarkable young women to our family as both have chosen outstanding women, Brit and Niki, as their life partners. Matt and Phil, you are what every father hopes his sons will become. Great men. Great husbands. Great people.
4. Sister: Since I graduated from high school, my sister and I have never lived close enough geographically to go for coffee together on a whim. As a matter of fact, for most of our lives we’ve lived thousands of miles apart. Despite that, I know that if I needed her she’d be with me in a heartbeat. I pray that she knows I’d do the same. She is a remarkable woman married to an exceptional man. She is at the top of her field and is an inspiration to others every day. I’m so proud of her and so thankful that I have a sister who epitomizes the love and tradition of our family.
5. Friends: I am surrounded by great friends, true friends in the purest sense of the word, all of whom are major influences on my life. You know who you are and you know how thankful I am that you are such a solid foundation in my life.
6. Business partners: No one can succeed in a vacuum. You need to partner with exceptional people that have exceptional skills. I am thankful for the many people who partner with me in a variety of businesses. Your counsel and wisdom is important to my life every day.
Thank you all for shaping my life!
And as always, here’s something to think about. “When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” (Tecumseh)