Three words to light our way this Thanksgiving


IT’S MY FAVORITE kind of morning:
The coffee is brewed and in my favorite mug. The house is quiet—just me and the dogs enjoying the stillness as the world wakes up.


I live for moments like this, but only because they are rare. The pace around my home is usually quite fast. Sometimes I wonder if life is passing me by.

As Thanksgiving approached this year I wanted to do something to help us all stop and think for a minute. If you are on Facebook you may be seeing a barrage of “Thankful” posts. I think that’s great. I used to do a ”Thankful Thursday” post each week in an effort to remind myself of all the blessings I have received.


This year, though, I decided to kick it old school. I bought a piece of poster board and a bunch of Post-it notes. I grabbed a Sharpie and wrote GIVE THANKS in the middle of the board. I put the board up in a central location in our house and posted the first “I’m thankful for” note. Then, I threw open the invitation to the whole household.

Our board is filling up fast. I love it. Sometimes I forget all the blessings in my life. Sometimes I just think of the changes. There have been many.

It wasn’t too long ago that we would attend two Thanksgivings in the same weekend, one for my husband’s side of the family and one for mine. This year I will host one small gathering. I miss the old days when everyone was healthy enough to sit down to dinner together and even play cards or Turkey Tracks afterwards. Yes, you read that right, in my family we play dominoes, specifically a game called Turkey Tracks! (Do you have a family game tradition? Add a Comment today and tell us what you like to play after the plates are cleared away.)


I miss the people in our family who have passed on and those who are too incapacitated to participate anymore. I am sad that my children don’t have all of their grandparents (and great grandparents) to share in the day of celebration.

Heather Jose photo.

Heather Jose

But always, I will be thankful. And I will make Thanksgiving special for my children and the family that will be with us. The Post-its this year are my reminder of our many blessings.

The three most important words I can share with you this week: Always be thankful. That’s a message from me—and I know that it comes, as well, from all those  who we remember at this time of year:

Always be thankful.

Heather Jose is author of Every Day We Are Killing Cancer, a book packed with inspiring stories of gratitude for the many people who rallied around Heather during her life-and-death struggle with cancer.

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