With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I wanted to share some of the life lessons and the person I am so thankful for. He is truly the strongest man I was lucky enough to know, and call my Daddy.


A blue collared man through and through who believed in hard work and standing up for the principal of things. If something did not seem right – he would let you know. The older I get, the more I admire that quality and the more I am sure to do the same.


Losing him was not all that long ago so the days of grieving can still be quite strong. There was a stretch of time where all I wanted to do was crawl under a rock and talk to no one. But then, as they say, time heals. And as it began to heal a bit, I was able to see the loss of him through a different light.


A light that shined upon all of the good times we had together, all of the amazing lessons he was able to teach me and my 5 siblings and the reality that if he saw me so down that he would not be too happy with me, to say the least.


I recently read this quote about loss: “Loss has a way of adapting and mutating so you have to make it inhospitable and the way you make it inhospitable is you keep the joyful parts of the person that you lost alive.” This quote resonates with me daily and my wish is that it can do the same for any of you out there who have experienced losing someone you love. And that gratitude for all you experienced with the person can be at the forefront of your heart because once that happens; the gratitude can begin to replace the sorrow and keep the spirit of your loved one alive.


I am grateful for how our daddy taught us to be strong and to speak our minds. I am grateful for all of the times he stopped to point out a good song and quiz us on who was singing it; our favorite song together was “You’ve Got Gold” by John Prine. I am grateful for the wicked sense of humor he had. I am grateful for the stoic warrior he was as he battled through cancer – the warrior within him gave all of us additional years together. I am grateful for the way in which he allowed me to be me and loved unconditionally. I am grateful for all of the strength he instilled in me so that when I feel knocked down, I can get back up a little easier. And even though we did not have much as far as material things or money, he and our mom found a way to give us the most amazing holidays together.


My wish for all of you is to have a Happy Thanksgiving, hold your loved ones a little closer, to find gratitude in those who are no longer with you and the gold in those who are. Oh, and maybe take a little time to share a happy memory or two!