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As Seen in the Newspaper: We Are Thankful

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A few weeks before Thanksgiving, the Journal invited readers to submit short essays about feeling “Thankful in Hard Times.” The response was heart-warming. Our thanks to everyone who participated!
This Thanksgiving essay by Karen Higgins contained typographical errors when it was published on Thanksgiving Day. Here is the version that should have appeared.

Thank you, Sandia……….Every day I am thankful for the mountainous Sandia towering over Albuquerque like a protective grandmama soothing her wayward children. Sandia stands outstretched and open, a western Statue of Liberty offering health, happiness, and haven to those who seek the enchanting “posole” mixture of life she so selflessly shelters.

Without fail, Sandia “speaks” to those who choose to listen. Her voice is as soothingly soft as amber honey dripping from warm, pillowy New Mexican sopiapilla dough and as firm as the lofty mesas she views from her majestic height.

Because of her eastern position, Sandia has endlessly served as the faithful, uncomplaining gatekeeper for the morning light. Countless residents have risen with the blessing of her reflected beauty. Her first task at dawn is to stretch the blazing sun across her aged, sloping back to “lead” the triumphant way into yet another glorious sunrise. Sandia’s strength is enormous, without equal, and her daily routine is invaluable. Even her flushed, blushing-pink features are contagious to those who will take notice.

Sandia’s calming presence is the first whispered greeting of a new beginning. At no cost, she provides the unerring compass for lost souls who seek her for direction. She reminds sleepy citizens she’ll be bringing a new day tomorrow, too. Hers is a steadfast promise to a troubled world. For Sandia strength I am so thankful. She is a powerful ever present Albuquerque prayer.

What am I thankful for? Let’s go from A to Z:
A: Albuquerque, where I’m happy to call my home.
B: Books I love to read.
C: Cards for Christmas, birthdays and those for playing bridge.
D: Delta, the Dalmatian, my Dog, my best friend.
E: Evergreens: They stay alive during the hard cold winter.
F. Family and Friends.
G: Gardens, where the Good things Grow.
H. Home, where the Heart is.
I: Independence Day.
J. Jobs for making a living and contributing to the world.
K: The kitchen where I cook my food.
L: Letters from family and friends; to editors who sometimes share them with others.
M: Music, Movies.
N: Newspapers.
O: Open book; Open house; Open eyes.
P: Poetry: I love to read it and to write it.
Q: Quotations let me know how wise people think.
R: Roses, Rain, Reindeer.
S: Students in Schools.
T: Teachers who Teach them.
U: University.
V: Vote!
W: Water.
X: X-tras, things we don’t really need.
Y: Yellowstone National Park.
Z: Zoos, with Zebras.
— Laverne Rison, Albuquerque

I am grateful for chance encounters.
This August my husband and I were leaving a medical appointment. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and we had met with his doctor to discuss treatment options.
When it was done I really wanted out of there, but had to pass two well manicured neatly tagged pharmaceutical reps in order to do so. Weaving past them I noticed that I shared a last name with one of them and made a brief comment of solidarity.
I didn’t want to engage further but, my remark proved too inviting and she struck back. “Maybe we are related.”
Confident that we weren’t I replied, “I doubt it.”
She continued. “Where is your family from?”
I countered, “Deming, New Mexico.”
That should have been the end of it. Turns out, it was only the beginning.
She didn’t meet her father, my cousin, until she was 17 years old and hasn’t spent much time with him since. I have little to offer to heal that wound. Still I try. She now knows, that if she wants, she can be a member of the DAR. She knows her great, great, great grandfather was a founding member of the Cincinnati Reds Fan Club and that his daughter had to return a beauty crown for lying about her age, her marital status, and her son. She knows other things too. Mostly, I hope she knows she belongs.
I am grateful that passing moments can have lasting impacts.
— Mary Darling, Albuquerque

I would like to give a special thanks to Dr. John DeFlice for arranging for me to have a lifesaving liver transplant 20 years ago. I had the misfortune of having a genetic liver disease.
Next month I will celebrate my 83rd birthday and I have had the thrill of attending my grandson’s graduation from Tulane University in New Orleans and his wedding this year in Costa Rica. Also, I had the thrill of attending my granddaughter’s graduation from the University of Texas in Austin.
Most of all, a special thanks for all the TLC from my caregiver and lifelong love, Dorothy, and to my son and daughter-in-law, John and Karen, for all their support.
— Marvin Curl, Albuquerque

FOUND: ABANDONED BABY GIRL. Eleven months old dressed in a yellow coat. Nightfall at an intersection in Gaoming, Guangzhou Province, China. A red envelope pinned to her coat had a date written in a shaky hand. Her birth date. An important date that one mother in China wanted the world to know. And new parents in New Mexico made a promise to celebrate always.
She was just two years old when we flew to China to gather her up from the orphanage. One year spent in a metal crib. Never venturing outside. Heavy blue tint on the windows blocking all the sunshine. Always hungry. Beautiful dark eyes watching. Waiting silently for something.
And then we became a family.
This child who soaks up knowledge at breakneck speed. Who embraces life with enthusiasm and love. Who twirls in princess finery and sings from her heart. This child who proudly states, “I’m from China”, but thankfully does not remember the hunger and the somberness of her existence.
This child who has filled our lives with great hope and love and dreams. This child, our child, it is she that we are thankful for. And during this season of Thanksgiving, we wait once again for a child of China. Our second daughter. A sister.
— Jeanne Cameron Washburn, Albuquerque

This will be my sixty-first Thanksgiving on earth. During my career in government service, I have been mostly fortunate to have spent Thanksgiving with numerous friends and family.
Without question however, the most difficult and depressing Thanksgiving I ever experienced would be in Vietnam in 1966. I was a newly deployed, scared, and lost GI, stationed west of the hamlet of Phu-Bai. I remember returning to the firebase, (sally), Thanksgiving morning after being on an all night ambush patrol. It had rained most of the night, and we were all cold, wet, and numb, both mentally and physically. I remember sitting next to a bunker, opening a can of c-rations, (beanies & wienies), and muttering some expletive about Thanksgiving. As I ate in the rain, I kept watching my c-ration can keep filling up with water, so I pitched it and muttered more expletives. About that time, a squad buddy said a supply chopper was in bound with “hot chow”. Thanks to the mess cooks at Phu-Bai, we were treated to a hot Thanksgiving dinner in the middle of what seemed to be complete insanity at the time. What strikes me after all these years, is the gesture of that day, but more importantly to those destined soldiers who would never see another Thanksgiving day.
— James Sciaccotti, Albuquerque

Hanging in my study is a yellowed photo of a tiny girl on a large horse. It’s me in an English riding habit on Vagabon King, a five-gaited sixteen hand bay. One glance at that photo and I immediately smell dusty grass, feel hot sunshine, and taste a salty sweat. Best, a total satisfaction floods me now as it did then.
Memories are small miracles. A good memory transports you. Anything can trigger one, a friend, relative, a trip, your achievements, extending a helping hand, “paying it forward”. They cost nothing, aren’t time consuming, yet when we weigh and qualify our memories, I believe we gain in wisdom
Thanksgiving produces another layer of memories, hold them closely. Enjoy.
— Anne Shelby Jersig, Rio Rancho

Here are some things that don’t cost a thing and certainly increase my joy each day:
Walking with Roxy, my big red dog. in the crunchy autumn leaves.
Sunrise over the Sandias – right out my front door.
Monsoon rains hammering on my metal patio cover.
A backyard full of twittering goldfinches.
Rocks. I’ve been a collector all my life and now I live in a state full of rocks! Hooray!
The comment of a North Carolina visitor: “”Wow, I can breathe out here!” Yes, I’m thankful for clear, clean air.
I’m thankful to live in a state filled with true natural beauty. Hwy 14 from Albuquerque to Santa Fe is a great example.
— Marsha Graf, Albuquerque

Thinking of those who responded when I was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer, my eyes well with tears of gratitude:
For the doctors and technicians who caught it so very early and treated me with skilled hands and caring hearts;
For the healing thoughts and prayers of loved ones near and far;
For family and friends who provided meals, books, and acupuncture treatments;
For the women who already walked this road and offered their insights and encouragement;
For the YMCA staff and my students who sent cards and emails and called throughout my recovery, letting me know they really wanted me to come back as soon as I felt up to it;
For the process of getting better as flesh healed, pain subsided, and hope renewed;
For my husband Dave and my cat Caesar, who love me no matter what;
I am truly thankful.
The divine spirit in me salutes the divine spirit in you – Namasté.
— Gail Rubin, Albuquerque

I believe that gratitude is one of the greatest weapons for good that we have at our disposal. I do know that it’s necessary to see the faults in yourself and the world and try to correct them. But without the habit of gratitude for what we do have, life simply becomes a cheerless cycle of criticism, sickness and despair. Thankfulness is a lot like cigarette smoking — it’s a habit — but one that won’t kill you. And if you go days without being thankful, then you don’t have the habit. I’ve been poor, sick and despairing. But I’m not now. Over the years, gratitude has helped pull me out of all of it. Last week my husband and I were almost broadsided by a speeding car. The “almost” part made me really thankful. I could have cussed the driver for almost killing us. But thanks to my gratitude habit, I was too busy being thankful that he was skilled enough to miss us and also alive and well. I was thankful that our cars were intact and that we weren’t dead or in ICU racking up big bills. In the middle of the night I woke up again, so thankful to be alive and lying next to my beloved husband. There are so many surprising things, both big and little, to be thankful for on any given day.
— Linda Allbritten, Albuquerque

The country in economic turmoil, our kitchen a mess, and our family decides to head for the forest for the kind of therapy only mountains can provide.
The trail is more difficult than we anticipated, but we feel invited by the challenge . Our five year-old is alight with the excitement of having to crawl up the side of a hill. His enthusiasm and confidence are contagious. We bend to look at the moss blanketing a fallen tree, and I feel I have stepped into the timelessness of nature and parenthood. Through war, crisis and uncertainty of every kind, people have been stopped by the curiosity of children, and forced to consider the signs of life that dance at all times around us.
As we near the end of our hike, our baby, secure in a pack on my husband’s back, laughs and curls into an ecstatic backbend, looking at me upside-down. Cradled in the depths of the forest, my loved ones around me, I want to flip over, too, and offer my heart to the sky in gratitude for this sanctuary. I settle instead for a silent prayer, calling on every name for god I can think of, with every breath whispering thank you, thank you. On the rockiest of paths, at the worst of times, this life is still a gift, and I am still so grateful to be here.
— Erin Hansbrough, Albuquerque

My 5 years in Albuquerque have given me so many opportunities to say ¡Gracias!
Seeing balloons aloft almost every day against that wonderful blue New Mexican sky.
Listening to the music of New Mexican artists on KANW.
Relishing the companionship of those in my new spiritual community.
Seeing the Sandias going to work and the volcanoes returning home.
Hearing the lilting accents of the blend of nationalities who inhabit this state.
Finally finding that job that makes sense of going to work and beinh abel to make a difference.
Feeling and incorporating that energy unique to Albuquerque.
Enjoying good health so I can dance for hours.
All in all, my life has been expanded and enhanced by picking up, taking a huge leap of faith, and finding my ‘place’, finally!
“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take the first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe one of two things will happen – there will be something solid for you to stand upon, or you will be taught to fly.” Patrick Overton “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Terry Wexler, Albuquerque

My widowed Mother passed away in March; I also lost an Aunt and an Uncle in the spring and summer. All were elderly, had lived long and productive lives and are now with their loved ones in the heavenly realm. My sister and her husband, not elderly, experienced the misfortune of losing their home to a fire, and thereby she almost lost her life to smoke inhalation. She is fully recovered. For that I am eternally thankful – to the hospital staff where she was cared for and for the unbelievable myriad of family and friends (all glued together by an e-mail tree monitored by her oldest daughter) who offered many prayers, physical and moral support. My husband has a variety of ailments and is in the process of leaving this world under Hospice care.
So why am I thankful?
For the incredible love and support of my very close family of sisters and their husbands and children; for a loving and helpful stepdaughter who comes to town when possible; for the wide range of beautiful friends who call, visit, write and e-mail; for good doctors and caregivers.
Music is my solace. God gave me the gift of a voice – singing soothes my soul. For over thirty years I have sung with a wonderful church choir and those many colleagues sustain and uphold me with their smiles and hugs.
I am very blessed. The Lord is good to me and that is Why I Am Thankful.
— Elizabeth S. Bayne, Albuquerque

A Thanksgiving I remember most fondly was when Guy Killam, my papa, brought home four special friends from the pool hall.
These four elder men, all in their 70’s and 80’s, and Papa– also an elder gent—frequently played a game called snooker at the local “establishment”—Papa’s word. You know the one: “Trouble in River City, and it’s spelled P-O-O-L”.
Papa’s four guests were alone, widowed, had no family or certainly none in sight. So, we were their family for this Thanksgiving. As they one-by-one paraded into our home, each greeted my mother and me in great courtly manner, one even brought flowers, another, a box of chocolates. Each was dressed in his finest—mostly rather seedy, outdated, not altogether clean clothes, I noted—hair slicked, faces shaven and tidied, shoes shined, neckties representing a span of decades. The commingling of aftershave with the fragrance of tobacco embedded in their clothes created a pungent sweetness from which I almost swooned.
As we sat at table, sharing the Thanksgiving repast Mother had prepared, we enjoyed World War I stories, childhood memories, and great conversation all around, ooohing, aaahing, smacking of lips, and the sounds of savoring abounded throughout the feast. Our table was a groaning, loving board. Papa was so proud and in love with Mother for opening heart and home to these dear old fellows, gentlemen all. After dinner, we sang “Faith of Our Fathers” twice through (all the verses) after which pumpkin pie and coffee were served to accompanying, appreciative expressions.
As we all sat sated and satisfied, the magic of the moment settled over us. When Papa’s friends, now our friends, left, there were embraces and wonderful words giving thanks. The house felt warmer and even more loved-in than before, and we were all truly thankful.
Later that night when we all tucked in to bed, I heard Papa’s soft utterance of his every night’s prayer, “Dear God, bless all humankind everywhere. Amen.”
— Virginia Fultz, Albuquerque

Here in America we have much to be grateful for. Even in times of uncertainty. In the business world, we express our gratitude to our loyal staff in a variety of ways including monthly bonuses, annual bonuses, company holiday parties, etc. … However, I personally fail to express my heartfelt gratitude to every member of our team for the endless “little things” they do every day that makes our operation run smoothly. … Everyone ensures that our patients are greeted promptly and treated respectfully. They continuously work hard to keep our facility clean and comfortable. I am truly grateful that my business partners and I can enjoy our profession without having to worry about the endless details that make us function successfully as a team. Thanks to our terrific staff!
— Thomas E. Hesch, DDS

I am a 46-year-old father of three, a lifelong resident of Albuquerque and a recovering meth addict.
With my family and a good part of Bernalillo County behind me I have overcome insurmountable odds this year.
I have so much to be thankful for!
First I must thank my children and grandson for having faith in me. My case manager Jimmy C. for helping me keep it simple. The honorable Kenneth Martinez; Liane Kerr, attorney; MATS detox; Healthcare for the Homeless; Casa los Arboles; UNM Hospital; all my brothers at CLA; Dr. Vega, Dr. Patterson; Harm Reduction; HCH Dental; Dr. `K;’ Special Therapeutics, Art Street; Villa de Paz; Paula; my father, Frank; and all the staff at CLA – Bob, Ed, Ben and Gregg.
Thank you all for helping me take back my life.
In loving memory of my mother, Judith D., who never saw me get clean.
Love, your dear son, J.

I am a two-year breast cancer survivor. Through my trial with cancer, God showed me how many wonderful people I have in my life. While my family and friends supported me through the cancer, strong relationships developed. Today those relationships are still going strong.
No matter how hard times are, you can’t take away my joy when I wake up every morning in the arms of my loving husband, laughing with my teenage son, the weekly 6:45 a.m. phone call from my brother to tell me he loves me. Church on Sunday, breakfast with my step-daughter and her husband, lunch with my two nieces who keep me laughingthrough the entire meal, our weekly Wii night with our close friends, and my special friend who calls me once a week so we can try to solve the world’s problems and who I know prays for me very day.
I am the richest woman and today I am most thankful for all the wonderful people God has placed in my life.
— Cindy Newman, Albuquerque

You say we are living in hard times? I remember the hard times of the Great Depression – the year 1929. Yes, I am a survivor. My parents lost their home and savings. We had little food, sometimes none, depended on handouts of clothing. We had no car. There were no such things like food banks or Joy Junctions to go to for a meal. We had no TVs, computers, DVDs, cell phones and all the wonderful inventions that are in most homes today.
We didn’t feel our country owed us a living. Recovery was slow, but we survived. My memory of those hard times taught me to be thankful and satisfied with small things. I learned how to prepare and save and prioritize for the rainy days.
So, on this 87th Thanksgiving Day (for me) I shall reminisce and be grateful for the hard knocks, trials and tribulations throughout my long life. They have made me strong, independent and thankful. I love the USA!
— CMB, Albuquerque

This Thanksgiving brings to mind “those hardrock candy Christmases and Thanksgivings” I and my three daughters learned how to survive in the hard times.
I had just signed papers to put their father out of the home for good reason and recommended by our pastor also. That day in court, he stood there before the judge and said, ‘But I want to stay until after Thanksgiving because she is such a good cook.” The judge replied, “No wonder she is here for a divorce.”
We managed through hard times with little money, less food and little shelter – but we had enough heart, love and “where with all” to be thankful for what we did have.
Those three beautiful daughters, who grew into three wonderful women, are what I am most grateful for and their families. The nest might be empty, but still full of memories and thankful times to be together, well, and doing fine and sometimes even better than fine.
Thanks, God, for all you have done for me and mine!
— Katherine Peterson

My husband and I are soon to become grandparents for the first time. “Samantha Grace” is due to be born in three weeks. I can’t wait to meet her!
I want to teach her all the things in life that are so important: A good cup of hot tea. The beauty of hummingbirds. Tomatoes from the garden. Red chile ristras. Jimmy Buffet. Lobo basketball. A country where she can be anything she wants to be. Love of family and friends. Life is good and I am truly thankful.
Don’t worry about things, my friend! Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday, and all is well!
— Cindy Crouse, Albuquerque

Having recently moved to New Mexico, I am proud of my new state and thankful for the good quality of life here.
My husband and I just recently retired and give thanks for our health, the view from our window on the rising and setting sun as it colors our Sandias, the inevitable smiles which greet us almost everywhere we go, and the incredible Fall, which we have experienced.
Despite the fact that our retirement accounts have suffered, we take this opportunity to try and live more frugally and find ways to help our community as well. We’ve adopted a small farmer’s market on Fourth Street and a family-owned bakery on Osuna, which makes the best oat bread.
Our decision to move to New Mexico and our stage in life were the catalysts for downsizing, making due with less space, less stuff, and more relationship building. We continue to explore the many networks of eople with whom we can interact and form lasting bonds.
— Asia Negron-Esposito, Albuquerque

Your article in this morning’s Journal caused my husband and myself to have the most wonderful discussion at our breakfast table, regarding our life together for these past nearly 52 years, and particularly how the values we learned early on have smoothed out life’s peaks and valleys. Thanks for reminding us how truly blessed we have been.
Now in our 70s, our gratitude overflows because the values of Faith, Responsibility, Loyalty and Moderation instilled by teachers and parents early on have given us peace of mind throughout life in all scenarios, something money cannot buy. We would wish these same things for our younger generation.
— Marcia Pickens, Albuquerque

Thanks, Derry, my beloved
For the years you’ve shared with me;
Through joys and sorrows, tears or heartache,
We’ll forever partners be.

What a wonderful Golden anniversary!
What a precious family we share!
What peace and joy and contentment
Found only in God’s compassionate care!

Thanks, Derry, my beloved,
For putting God first in your life;
For keeping your sacred commitments –
Always honoring me as your wife.

I love you and thank you, dear husband,
For the years we have walked hand in hand;
May the Lord bless, guide and keep us
‘Til we meet in heaven’s glorious land.
— Darlene Stadsklev Cox, Albuquerque

“Gusty winds may exist.” This enigmatic sign that dots the landscape of New Mexico always makes me smile. As I travel the state’s byways, it gently warns me, much the way my mother did, that bad things could happen.
I heed the warnings – several close family members have died in car accidents, so the highways’ dangers are real to me. I wear my seat belt, pay my car and life insurance premiums, and check the weather forecast before I take a trip. I turn on the cruise control so I won’t speed. I carry my cell phone in my purse, ready and charged, should I need to call for help.
With experience, I’ve learned that gusty winds may NOT exist today. In fact, on many days in New Mexico, there is only a cooling breeze or the air is perfectly still. Even if the winds do gust, I may only suffer a few tense moments of griping the steering wheel and, even more likely, a chipped windshield.
I am thankful for the perspective that age brings to me. I prepare. I hope. I pray.I take my cracked windshield to the shop for replacement. And then, once again, I take to the road and chuckle as I coast into a canyon where a windsock swings and a sign cautions: “Gusty winds may exist.”
— Carol Jordan, Albuquerque
Yvette Y. Chavez
Edgewood, NM

My name is Yvette Chavez, I just lost my cousin Matthew on November 11, 2008 we just buried him on November 17, 2008. Eighteen months ago I also lost my brother Paul Cordova he was only 27 years old and my cousin Matthew just turned 34 on November 13. I has been a really hard eighteen months for my whole family. We had 3 deaths in just a short period of time. My aunt was expected she was sick; but the other two were not. We had to raise money for both so they can have a proper burial. It has been difficult for both the Cordova family and Martinez. I hope you can publish this essay; because I was just going to bag the whole thing. But I started thinking maybe I should not I don’t know. I just want to send a message of hope for all who have suffered the same as our family, even though things may seem far out of reach.

I was not going to write this essay, because I just lost my cousin Matthew on November 11, 2008. Eighteen months ago I lost my brother also; my brother was only 27 years old. Within a two year period I have had three deaths in my family. One death was already expected my aunt Mary was really sick so it was expected of her, but my brother and my cousin was unexpected, the both of them. You know the thing is that we just buried my cousin Matthew on Monday. I was really close to my cousin Matthew hew was like an older brother to me. So it was like losing my brother all over again. My cousin Michael asked me to do a memory pamphlet for my cousin, so I did it was hard; because I also had to do it for my brother Paul when he took is own life on April 8, 2007. I never thought I would have to do this again, but I did. What breaks my heart is that my cousin left behind his only brother Michael. When we found out what had happened to both my brother and cousin, we as a family pulled together to raise money for both funerals. We held a car wash on Central and Atrisco to pull the month together so that both would have a funeral. Both my brother Paul and my cousin Matthew were much unexpected. This year I want to dedicate the coming holidays for my brother, cousin and most of all my family as a whole. It was amazing to see how we all worked together as a family to make sure that both Matthew and Paul had a proper burial. This year I am going to be thankful that we have such a strong and united family, we showed so much love all of us pulling together. I know I will never forget the years 2007 and 2008, because we lost a lot in such a short period of time. Life is short to forget the ones you love and the ones you’ve lost. Then you feel bad because you did not take the time to call them up and let them know that you love the, they are always in your heart as well as your thoughts. When I sit down to Thanksgiving dinner or decorate a Christmas tree I will be thankful as well as count my blessings for my family as a whole. What I really want people to know is that we as a family want to thank those who stopped by the car wash and those who where generous enough to donate a little her and there even though times are hard. The Cordova and Martinez families want to send a personal thank you for all who stopped by and donated for both funerals. May God bless all who helped us bury Paul Cordova and Matthew Martinez. You all will be in our prayers during the holiday season as well as the rest of the year.
Jonnie Irwin
Rio Rancho, NM

Being Thankful Today

Today’s media paints a worst-case scenario of our country’s economic situation. The most grisly news appears daily on television and the front page of the news. We have grown to expect it and some even look forward to hearing it. Let us instead, focus on the good things we enjoy on a day-to-day basis. Let’s use our good judgment to separate the sensational from the factual.

We need to support those who have been voted into office. They have committed to do their best to restore balance and we must believe in them. Excessive venting about the state-of-the-world only makes our lives miserable. I realize that although I can’t change the big problems of the world, I can keep my own life free of chaos by acting with optimism and integrity. Focusing on activities I enjoy and spending quality time with family and friends help me stay optimistic in turbulent times.

We have much to be thankful for. Our nation is blessed with brave men and women who are serving our country. We enjoy many freedoms. As American, our possibilities are endless. We can make mistakes and start anew each time. We are free to think for ourselves, to choose our friends, even to change our life’s work if we wish.

The things that really matter cannot be taken away from us; our faith in God and our hope for the future. We live in an exciting time. Let us embrace tomorrow with hope.
Eloyda Gomez, RN, BSN, OCN
Albuquerque, NM

As Thanksgiving approaches and will all the doom gloom out there. I would like to reflect on some reasons I am thankful for, there are many of course, first there are my three wonderful grandsons, my daughter, son and my husband and other members of my family. I am grateful that they are healthy and doing quite well. They bring me more happiness and joy than any amount of money could ever bring me and for that I am very thankful.

Walter Wilcox
Moriarty, NM

Precious Memories

Well it all started November 1964.
It took place in Saginaw, Michigan.
My Grandpa Healy past away at home.
Then John F. Kennedy was killed.
A lot of sad times. Then just before Thanksgiving Day – we got over 2 1/2 feet of snow wind blown 40 mph. I was 7 years old. My brother Carl was 6 years old. My grandma Healy, my mom Nellie, Aunt Kay, Aunt Marlyin (?) were all in the kitchen making a big old fashioned dinner will all the fixens.
The turkey was a big one, took up most of the dinning room table.
Us kid’s had our own special table to sit at. As the window’s started steaming up, we all wrote our names. Then we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was off in a place drawing JFK’s casket drawn wagon all day long.
Then we all sat down, prayed, and we all eat. My brother Carl ate so many sweet pickles he had no room for the juicey turkey. After dinner that night we all helped my Grandma Healy set up her Christmas tree. I’ll always remember this. I’m now 51 years old, I’ve got a grandson of my own, AJ, 5 years old. We are going to cook Thranksgiving dinner for my wife, girls, I’ll pass on the tradition.