“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”(1 Thess. 5:16-18 NIV)
With Thanksgiving fast approaching I have been thinking of all the things I am thankful for in my life. The funny thing is that the things I am most thankful for aren’t things at all. It is all of the special people who have blessed my life over the years.
I am so thankful for Mom, Dad, and Nana. We may not have had much growing up but one thing is certain. I always felt loved. I always felt cared for. I always felt supported and encouraged by them all. I am so thankful for my two brothers, Eddie and Tony. Even though they were five and seven years older than me they often made time to play with their little brother. Yes, they may have picked on me from time to time but they always protected me as well. I learned a lot about growing up by watching them both. I am so thankful for my wonderful wife, Fonda. We may have grown apart and divorced but we also had 3 beautiful children who blessed our lives so much. And we remained friends through all these years to this day. I am so thankful for my two sons, JJ and Casey. You guys may have come into this world with mental disabilities but it was your spiritual abilities that taught me so much about how to live and how to Love. Because of you both I laugh more, smile more, and am closer to God. Because of you both my life is blessed with Joy every single day. I am so thankful for my daughter, Beth. You will never fully know how much your love has helped me and touched me over the years because words cannot express it. You are a true Earth Angel even if you don’t believe it yourself. I am so thankful for all of my friends, some who I see every day and some who I’ve never met in person. Your kindness, encouragement, and support uplift my spirits always. And I am so thankful for all of my beloved pets over the years. I doubt I could love as openly and unconditionally as you loved me, but I do keep trying to learn from your example.
They say that if you could only say one prayer in this life: “Thank You!” would suffice. Let me say then: “Thank You, God for all those you have brought into my life.”
Joseph J. Mazzella