Practicing Thankfulness

By Rep. Mike Sanders

Thanksgiving is a holiday often overlooked by retailers and others in the marketing profession. If you visit a store this time of year, you might see bins of leftover Halloween candy crowded in front of rows of Christmas decorations. If you search long and hard, you might eventually find a few turkey-themed items.

For many, Thanksgiving is about food or football or planning for Black-Friday Christmas shopping. But Thanksgiving for me is a time to reflect on all for which I’m truly thankful.

On top of my list is my incredible wife, Nellie, and our two sons Davis and Walker. They have stood by me while I’ve served in the state Legislature, including times when I’ve had to be away from home or have carried the stress of making decisions that will impact people throughout the state. They’ve done it with grace and patience and smiles on their faces, and for that I couldn’t be more thankful.

I’m also thankful for my father, who continues to work in our family business. I’m thankful as well for the memory of my dear mother.

As I anticipate spending Thanksgiving with my family, I can’t help but be cognizant of all of those who will spend the holiday away from their loved ones in service to their communities, our state and our nation. This includes police officers, firefighters and others in emergency service as well as those who serve in our military, both here and overseas. I offer each person who serves in one of these areas a very heartfelt thanks for keeping us safe and staying on watch. It is because of you that we enjoy the freedom to spend this day as we please in peace and safety.

Thank you as well to those who teach in our schools, who work in our hospitals and doctor’s offices, who build our roads and who keep other state services in place and running smoothly.

And I’m thankful for all of my constituents who reach out to me with suggestions, questions or concerns. Their goals are to make our communities better places to live and work. I appreciate their input.

Truth is, I’m thankful for the people on my list each day of the year, not just at Thanksgiving. But this holiday gives me an extra reason to acknowledge my gratitude. This Thanksgiving week, I hope you will join me in taking time to tell those you love why you are thankful for them. Say thank you also to those who serve you in any number of ways.

Happy Thanksgiving House District 59. We are truly blessed.

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