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The month of November it is the #1 month people think about giving thanks. Although we should always give thanks, the Thanksgiving holiday is what inspires most of us to be thankful for an entire month. I have always been thankful for what I have and even for things that I don’t have. This Thanksgiving was a little different.

My dad and I have an interesting relationship. It is unique and our own. We are so much alike it scares the heck out of me. We are both very strong willed, hardheaded, like to learn (although he retains much more than I do) and believe we are right. Because of these traits we butt heads quite often. As I have gotten older, I have learned to appreciate how smart of a man he is and thankful for the random things he has taught me, such as how to properly build a shadow box coffee table. Recently, those moments almost came to an end.

In October, when I was on a speaking tour in Texas, I had a week to spend with my parents in our hometown of Kenedy. During that time my dad fell and broke his hip. This forced him to have surgery. This was not a simple task. My dad has been fighting cancer since 2010. He has heart issues. He is on a blood thinner. And all of those became a perfect storm to a long recovery process. The week following the surgery I had NO idea what was going to happen. The man in the bed was not my dad. And it was scary as hell.

I don’t need to go into details on how he was because it wasn’t good. I was scared for him and worried for my mom. They had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary back in August. FIFTY YEARS!!! As the days passed, slowly (and I mean VERY slowly) my dad progressed. Looking back, it was only a week but at the time if felt as if it were months. Before I headed back to Arkansas, he was moved to a rehabilitation facility that is only five miles from my mom.

Every day I would check in and see how the progress was for him. My parents are like many other parents I know. They tell their children part of the truth because they don’t want them to worry. I was hoping everything they were saying was true, but I knew it probably wasn't everything. I knew I could see for myself when I went home Thanksgiving.

When my dad walked through the doors on Thanksgiving day with his walker, I was so impressed. He looks a thousand times better than he did the last time I saw him. He still has a long way to go but he has come so far! When he was giving the blessing for our thanksgiving meal all I could think about is how thankful I was that he was there to give that blessing.

As the day went on, I kept thinking of all the random information my dad has shared with me over the years. The times I would work with him in his shop in the back of our house when we lived in Kenedy the first time. I thought about the example he and my mom set for me and my brother to always give even if your time was all you had to give. I am very thankful for all the nuggets he has taught me in my 41 years of life.

As the days and weeks pass from Thanksgiving, make sure you are continuing to give thanks for what you have, the lessons you have learned and the impact you are making on this world. Make sure you thank people for what they have done for you. Be thankful to those who support you. November is a good reminder that we need to give thanks, but don’t let it be the only month of the year you do.

Keep exploring...and be thankful.

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