Thanksgiving Day can have many different meanings depending on who you talk to. Today, the day after, I have some feelings that I have never really spoken about so, here goes.
I have felt for a long time that the beauty and joy of the holiday season is that it is a time to be with those you care about. To me, Christmas has transcended from a religious holiday (and please know I am not trying to make it less if that is what it is for you) to be a celebration of everything that is good about us. The holiday season is a time to be with family and friends, to share the highs and lows of the last year, to reflect on where we are.
I have a lot to be thankful and grateful for. I have a wife who has been by my side for almost 22 years of marriage and has given me two sons all of whom I love dearly. I have been blessed to be able to practice dentistry for almost 29 years now and I truly believe I have the best patients in the entire world. The list goes on and on.
But today, I want to give my biggest Thanksgiving “Thanks” to my Mom and Dad. My wife and boys and dogs were at my parent’s house yesterday for a really cozy Thanksgiving dinner and as usual, the wife and Mom hit a home run with the food. And I know that my Dad loved it because he ate more than I have seen him eat in a long time. I love my Mom dearly, but today I have to let Dad know how grateful I am for him.
My dad was pretty much like most of the dads were when I was a kid. He worked hard and provided for us the best he could. Let me be honest, I couldn’t have asked for any more. Everything I needed was always there, and there was so much more. I have so much to be grateful for.
My dad taught me how important charity was; he gave so much of himself to his community, both with his time and his money. My dad gave me an opportunity to learn about spirituality and religion and he gave me the opportunity to go to college and dental school.
He set up his home so that all of his children understood what commitment was and why you needed to have a strong work ethic. When he needed to he would take me aside and tell me if he was disappointed in something I was doing and give me his guidance to make amends. He taught me about family, and how it should always come first.
My dad is 84 years old now and slowing down. And somehow, even though he doesn’t go on the computer anymore I will make sure he reads this.
“Dad, if I haven’t told you this enough, I want you to know how much I appreciate every sacrifice you have made in your life for me. I would not be the person I am today if it were not for you and I only hope I can be ½ the father to my kids that you have been to me. I love you Dad, always have and always will.”