And a Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
A lady wrote me a few days ago wishing me and my family a Happy Thanksgiving. She ended her letter with the words, “We have so much to be thankful for.”
And she’s right. They don’t make a page long enough for me to list all of my many, many blessings. But with the big day just around the corner, these particular thoughts come to mind:
I’m thankful for a warm house, a fire, and a family with which to spend my time and share my love. I hurt for those who have lost loved ones since last Thanksgiving, and pray for peace and comfort in their lives.
I’m thankful for three children and eight grandchildren who will gather at my house once again this season. One of them e-mailed me a few days ago and said, “Thanks so much for once again providing the firm foundation upon which so many wonderful meals and memories have been made over the years!” It doesn’t get any better than that!
I’m thankful for the country music I came to love and appreciate as a child….and to write and perform as an adult. I’m thankful for artists like George Jones who interpreted that music in a way that allowed us to feel and share his emotions, whether they be happy or sad. And I’m thankful I could stand alongside my friends last week and say thank you to him one final time.
I’m thankful for Larry Black and the more than sixteen years that we have worked side by side in the creation and production of Country’s Family Reunion. He is truly a treasure, as are all the people who gather in that special circle to share their music and their laughter with the rest of us. We miss the ones who aren’t with us anymore, but treasure the memories they left for all of us to enjoy.
I’m thankful for “Life”….and in this case I’m speaking of the new record that I’ve just completed and released. Who knows how many more times I’ll get to go into the recording studio and put my songs onto a tape or a disk or a hard drive….or whatever the technology of some future day might be. I’m thankful for the people who say that my music affects their lives in a positive way. I hope I can continue to write those kinds of songs and make those kinds of records for many more years to come.
I’m thankful for the sports that I enjoy watching, each in their own season…..baseball, football, basketball, and even ice hockey. They serve to take my mind off my everyday problems, and provide me with diversion away from my work. There’s nothing I enjoy more than cheering for my favorite teams and smiling when they win.
I’m thankful for my son-in-law, Chuck, who came through his recent brain surgery with flying colors and is now rehabilitating at home with his therapists and his family. And my tough-as-nails little grandson, Gabe, who refuses to let a terrible disease like cancer take away his spirit. And I’m thankful to each of you who have kept both Chuck and Gabe in your thoughts and prayers.
I’m thankful for my parents who taught me early in life the joy of simply being thankful. They first taught me about God and the importance of keeping Him in first place in my life. I stumble and fall just like everybody else, but I’m thankful for the strength He gives me to get back up and try again.
I’m thankful for our country, troubled though it may be at times. I’m thankful for every man and woman who puts on the American uniform and continues to fight for the freedoms we cherish. I’m thankful that I still get a chill when I see Old Glory waving in the wind.
And I’m always thankful for you, my friends and fans, who have supported and sustained me far longer than I ever dreamed. May your Thanksgiving be filled with special blessings and love from those who mean the most.
“Thanks to you”….again and again and again.