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A Day To Be Grateful

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This time of year when the weather turns cool and the autumn leaves show their beautiful colors, most people reflect on what they have to be thankful for. As always I look forward to Jay Coulter's Thanksgiving article here at Track Em Tigers. For my money, no one does it better. He always brings a clarity to the simple and important things in life. And I must say that this year I have had several experiences that made me think just how precious is the time we have on this earth.

Life is certainly short and we need to make the most of it. I was reminded of that fact over the weekend of the Auburn-Georgia game. As I was getting ready for the trek to Athens, I received two unsettling telephone calls. First my godson had, what was later termed by the doctors, "a pre cardiac arrest event." He will be okay but the first few days of hospitalization and recovery were anxious ones.

Then as we were packing the car to go be with my godson I received another disturbing call - which was even worse news. One of my long time friends had passed away suddenly and without warning, reminding me of just what is important in life... and it ain't college football.

Most of us, if we're honest with ourselves, live life like everything will always be the same. "She knows I love her. I don't have to say it." Or, "I'm going to get around to spending some quality time with him," are commonly held sentiments. Yet if we don't make time for those things, life will change and those opportunities will pass us by. I don't think I ever told David how much I admired him or appreciated his friendship. On this Thanksgiving day I can say I am grateful for having known him.

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful. It always seems to me though, that everyday should be a day to be grateful. On the other hand it's human nature to dwell on what we don't have instead of our blessings. To think about what we have not accomplished instead of what has been achieved. To think about how those around us should treat us instead of how we should treat them. To put off till tomorrow the things we should do today. Things like spending time with family and friends. Things like telling people how much they mean to you while you have the opportunity.

So this piece is not done to usurp Jay's traditional Thanksgiving column. But rather it is the result of a personal reflection on life, prompted by the loss of my friend. With that motivation and with Jay's post yesterday as a cue, I have listed a few of the things I am grateful for on this day.

I am grateful ...

* That my godson is still with us and on the way to better health.

* That when a tornado hit the high school I was in last Wednesday... none of the 1500 kids were hurt.

* For clean drinking water and hot showers at the end of a long day.

* That birthdays, weddings, graduations, and holidays are usually celebrated with cake.

* For family portraits that create lasting memories.

* For rainy days, restful nights, and warm cozy blankets on cool sheets.

* That my faith, like a rock, keeps me steady even in bad times.

* For a wife who loves me, not because of who I am but in spite of it.

* For two sons that are good husbands and fathers. And for their wonderful wives who have been such a blessing to our family.

* That my hero, my cerebral palsied brother, is able to live by himself.

* That unlike my brother I can walk, talk, and take care of myself without assistance.

* For the blessing of living in a country where I can pray openly, and that I can believe what I believe and you can believe what you believe.

* For laughter... especially that of my grandchildren.

* For best friends who love me even when I am unloveable.

* For the TET crew and especially Jay who made this site possible.

* For being a part of the Auburn family.

* And Finally, for the opportunity to tell others they mean a lot to me before it's too late. That includes all of you who regularly stop by to read this site. I still can't believe that anyone would really care enough to read what I might post. I am grateful for that and I am grateful for all of you and wish you a ...

Happy Thanksgiving.