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By Remy Benoit

   The holiday season is upon us.

   It is a time of great expectations, and also, very often a time of great disappointments.

   We often expect too much of ourselves and too much of others.

   How can we change that?
   Perhaps the best place to begin that change is with taking the time to actually write down the things we are thankful for; the things we all too often take for granted.

   Did you sleep in a bed last night with a roof over your head?

   Was there water for a hot shower, for a cup of coffee or tea when you wanted it?

   Was there food on the table?

   Those are good things to start a thankful list with.

   Has someone done something nice for you?

   Were you able to do something nice for someone?

   Did you receive or give a hug in the week that is winding down this morning?

   If you want to change the stress patterns of the holiday you can.

   Send a note to someone and just say "hello," or "thank you for your thoughtfulness." You could just say "you are an important part of my life and I appreciate that."

   It is not important what will be under the tree; what is important is what is in the hearts of those around it, or seated at the table with you. Can you bring yourself to let them know what is in your heart?

   So, I shall start this Thank you list here:

   Thank you to my children, who are truly not children anymore, but adults in their own right, with their own lives and plans and without whom this computer challenged woman would never be able to have these sites running. I appreciate all your efforts, time, and commitment to this. It is my great privilege and joy to be your mother.

   Thank you to the men who already served and gave so much who are here all the time for me, helping me to try to help by sharing with you.

   Thank you to my daughter who has added songs I love so much to the computer to play while I work here.  This morning Joan Baez's Diamonds and Rust and Jesse are playing. Thanks to you too for the lovely blue roses at my home page: Remy. Thank you also to the wonderful young man who once gave me blue roses for our Senior Prom. You are remembered with much affection.

   Thank you to my son for the endless hours of work on this site, my homepage, and The Niquahanam Project: Help to Heal the World. where all the links will soon be active and we ask you to join us.

   Thank you to my folks who gave me my love of reading and history oh so many years ago and who are still standing by with their support.

   Thank you to the man from Frackville, a brother I have yet to meet except on this invisible paper who shares his wisdom and graciousness with me from the state where I was born.

   Thank you to the teachers who taught me, to the teachers I taught with over the years who shared their ideas and devotion with me. A special thank you to a certain head of a particular English department who has stood by me so faithfully through my big life transition; the wonderful man who was once my 6th grade square dancing partner; the fun loving man with whom I once kept a pair of turtles in a 3rd floor faculty room.

   Thank you to the furry ones with whom we share our lives here. Your purrs, you tail wagging always brighten my day.

   Thank you to all the students who were in my classes over so many years; you gave so much. A special thank you to a lovely woman, a true friend who was in my class for two years for 9th and 10th grade back in the 70's, who was here by my side from so many miles away when I really needed a friend.

   Thank you to my "other sons;" the boys who graced my life while they grew into such exceptional men. I am so very proud of you.      

   And thank you to a very special Wolfhound Captain who led me to all this, who is there each and every day saying, "Yes, you can, my dear." Thank you for your belief in me. Mine is just as strong in you.

Wherever you have been, whatever you have known, Welcome Home.

   To all of you, a healthy, loving, and yes, gratitude filled, Thanksgiving.

   Be peace,


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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