Jewish Journal


by Ilana Angel

November 28, 2013 | 7:59 am

Happy Thanksgiving. This holiday is a time to give thanks and gratitude for the blessings in our lives. I try to be grateful everyday, but Thanksgiving is special because we are all being grateful together. Since this is my 47th Thanksgiving, I am going to share 47 things I am grateful for, in no particular order, except for #1, because he is always #1.

1. My magnificent son

2. Fiddles the cat

3. Faith

4. God

5. Possibilities
6. Family

7. Canada

8. Keeping the Faith

9. Keeping it Real

10. Premier League Football

11. iPhone

12. Shazam
13. iPad

14. BiteSize TV
15. Modern Family

16. False eyelashes

17. Vegetarianism

18. Television
19. Kleenex

20. Chapstick

21. Hope

22. Sarcasm

23. The Troops

24. Matzo ball soup

25. Silkie chickens
26. Love

27. Forgiveness

28. Patience

29. Massage

30. Red wine

31. Flowers

32. Rain

33. Memories of my Dad

34. My mom visiting

35. Sushi

36. Laughter

37. Sleeping

38. Cooking

39. Hugs from my child

40. Gel manicures
41. Home

42. A good blow out
43. Work 

44. Play

45. Motherhood
46. Prayer
47. English Breakfast tea

Thanksgiving is a wonderful day and I’m looking forward to spending the afternoon with friends, and being grateful for the blessings in my life.  My son is with his Dad and I shall miss him, but be thankful for the large family he has on his Dad’s side as they love him so much. Special thoughts and prayers go out to our troops who sacrifice so much for us to have this day.  God Bless them all and their families.

I hope those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving have a holiday full of family, friends, and delicious food.  Be kind to a stranger, help someone in need, hug your kids, get someone else to do the dishes, and remember life is a blessing. I am thankful for my life, excited about my future, and grateful for my past. I do not believe that everything happens for a reason, but I believe we can learn something from everything that happens.

Coach told me about an inspiration of his, Jim Valvano, a coach and broadcaster who delivered a moving speech in 1993, shortly before he passed away.  He said in part:

To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special. - Jim Valvano

I have been watching this speech a lot this week. I am certain I think everyday, positive I cry everyday, and grateful that I laugh everyday. The truth is I probably think too much, cry more than once a day, and only laugh when I mean it. I am going to start paying attention to all of it and at the end of each day be thankful I have done all three, then remind myself it was a heck of a day and I have something really special.

I am thankful to be my son’s mother. Thankful to have met Coach. Thankful for the love I am shown by my readers, and grateful for the hate because it makes me stronger. I am thankful for my family, friends, and for strangers who through my work have been inspired to laugh, cry, and think. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. No matter how long your life is, it is never going to be long enough, so be happy, and keep the faith.


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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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