Give thanks for all

Published 1:49 pm Wednesday, November 22, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving Day is already here. As I continue to age, I seem to move at a much slower pace while time moves at a much faster pace.
Despite the fact that Thanksgiving seems to disappear as quickly as it appears each year, our family has always treasured the fall holiday.
My parents always taught us to be thankful for all things in life and to always count our blessings.
My mom and dad are the best example of a thankful heart one could ever have. They truly know how to count their blessings.
Over the years the blessings have been many for my family. My dad surrendered to the call to preach when I was only three. He and my mom, at a young age, left the only place they knew as home and ventured into unchartered territory for him to attend Bible College.
Like most young couples with three children in that time, they struggled financially to make ends meet as my dad was a full-time student and worked to support his family.
The challenges they faced over the next several years were many, but they never gave up. And because of their faith, the blessings came.
Whether it was a check for tuition or a Thanksgiving meal, or presents under the tree, my parent's needs and wishes were always taken care of and they were always careful to give God the glory and lived in a spirit of thanksgiving continually.
Due in part to our parent's, Thanksgiving is a special day for my brothers and I, but more so than just being a day, it is more a state of being.
We were taught to be thankful in all things at all times and to always count our blessings.
Sometimes counting our blessings was a bit harder than you would think, especially when we have been handed such things as sickness and death in our lives.
I have struggled with that after our Dad suffered a major heart attack at a young age and when my brother lost his seven-year-old daughter to viral meningitis. How in the world could we ever be thankful? And no one could possibly have it any worse than that.
But as our parents have reminded us, there is always someone in the world who has it worse than we do.
And as time and age have shown me, there are people who are hurting just the same around every corner and in some cases more severe.
It is important to find thanksgiving in even the worst of situations. Something is to be learned from every event in ones life, even in tragedy.
As we have done several times in the past, my family will join with my mom's side of the family for a Thanksgiving reunion tomorrow.
We will gather at my grandmother's old country church where she and my grandfather are buried. More than 60 people, including one of my brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins will gather around the table to feast on fried turkey, roasted turkey, Cajun turkey and maybe even a turducken or two with the homemade cornbread dressing and giblet gravy.
We will talk about the prospect my Dad had for getting a heart transplant and silently be thankful that after 20 years with a bad heart he is still here with us to teach us and celebrate the day with us and we will talk about my niece Reagan, who left us five years ago. Tears will be shed as we talk about how we miss her and wish she could be with us, but are so thankful that we had seven wonderful years with her and that even in death her life made such an impact on people all around.
Tomorrow will be a blessing in itself as we spend it with the people we love. Be careful to count your blessings this Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Janet Little Cooper is editor of the Atmore Advance. She can be reached at 368-2123.

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