Today is the day (like ANY other day) when GRATITUDE will be at the top of our list of feelings.

Whether we’re grateful for a big hot meal cooked by and shared with family members, or a big hot meal cooked by and shared with volunteers. Or for a friend sharing their “wealth” so we can fill up our tank. Or some new and distant friends that have come and gone (MOSTLY come!) over that past some time. Or for having a roof over our head, be it for one night or many. Or many choices in our life, or even a few.

Or maybe it is 12 straight hours of football with another sport or two during commercials. Or belonging to a network or many of wonderful folks who have come together for usually a common purpose. Or perhaps that Black Friday comes early this year (let’s be sure to thank those who are working so we can shop)!

All of the above involve folks, friends that will stay with us through thick and thin. Folks, friends that we will be there for us no matter what for.

This is my big gratitude. I have met so many wonderful folks, friends, many that have touched my heart in a far deeper way than I ever expected. So much so that when one does leave this world, it hurts so hard, I am surprised someone I never met in person has became so close.

And, like Woody, I think life is just like Alice’s Restaurant. Where strange things happen and we keep on truckin’ and we meet new friends and get confused at times and even wonder what it’s all about. Well, I’m here to tell you, for me it is about all of you! Each and every one of you who are reading this message. Those I have come to know a little or a lot. Those of you who have come to know me a little or a lot.

Whether you knew me way before I began this blog, or have just now stopped in for the first time to see what this blog is. For and to all of you I am forever grateful for the opening of your hearts, minds, ears and time. For sharing your self with me, allowing me to share myself with you. That is my GRATITUDE today and every day.

But since I don’t often say or show it, today is the day I SHOUT it out to all who can hear, that my friends are the MOST important thing to me. What a sad life I would have, without the wealth of your caring, of your acceptance, of your giving spirit, of your understanding nature.

Of course, family comes under that same umbrella, or maybe it is the other way around. Mayhaps friends are now additions to family. All of us giving, sharing, caring and being.

So, this is my wish for you. That you will always have the love of friends, the friends who will love you in spite of your weaknesses. And in spite of your strengths! They just love you, because you are who you are. Sharing the memories, the dreams, the feelings, the joy, the passion, the sadness and the struggles that make up our lives.

From our home to you, Mama, Mimi and I send Thanksgiving greetings and love. (Mama and Mimi gave me permission to speak for them today, as they are busy celebrating Thanksgiving in their own special – sleeping – way.) May you always have the grace to understand, the will to share and the luxury of choices.

This goes out to all of you. Those celebrating their Day of Thanks today. Those who have recently celebrated their own Thanksgiving. And those of you who have yet to celebrate yours.

Love, Janet, Mama and Mimi