The Chronicle Editorial Board, speaking with one voice, each day asks readers to consider the local issues confronting all of us. Today, on Thanksgiving Day, the members share their individual reflections:
There is so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season. I want to give a special shout-out to my mother-in-law Joan Hemsworth of Crystal River. Joan celebrated her 97th birthday this week. She was a nurse in World War II and the matriarch of a family that made a good life. Joan lived the history that most of us only talk about. She is healthy, strong-willed and a role model for all who want to live life well.
Almost four centuries ago, the Plymouth colony pilgrims gathered with members from a nearby Wampanoag village to celebrate the blessings of a bountiful harvest in the spirit of thankfulness and togetherness. Since that first gathering, Thanksgiving has become an American tradition for family and friends to come together each year to give thanks for living in a land blessed with an abundance of riches and a freedom loving people. For me, Thanksgiving Day is a time to offer praise to my Lord and Savior for His daily blessings, to reflect on the precious gift of family, and to give gratitude for living in a community that values one another. My best wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving.
—Curt Ebitz/citizen member
I am thankful for my three children, Jackson, Jayden and Emma, their imagination as well keeping me grounded and my toes at the same time; my close friends, the Reid family, Chris, Kristy, Tyler, Trevor and Kimber; and my running friends for their support, encouragement and conversation on those long, and sometimes, cold morning runs.
—Jeff Bryan/managing editor news
This year I am thankful for life, for my health (which is at times, questionable), my family, friends and coworkers and so many others I encounter — especially with a positive attitude and kind disposition. I’m thankful for my community, and everything it has to offer. Today, I just want to thank God for every day that I wake up — in America, with a roof over my head, shoes on my feet and freedom to be who I am. To all of our readers, I hope you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.
—Gwen Bittner/community editor
Thanksgiving gives us permission to set aside our differences and reflect on the bounty, we as Americans, enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving one and all.
Practicing gratitude daily is fun (I’m particularly thankful for my husband – best friend and inspiration) and studies show it can promote better health. Who wouldn’t want to sleep better, minimize body aches and help your heart stay healthier? The following quote is attributed to Buddha. Even if it’s not his, it makes sense: “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
—Rebecca Martin/citizen member
In an increasingly cynical world of division and dissatisfaction, we must nonetheless strive to remain optimistic. To remain optimistic, I believe we must be thankful, even when it feels a herculean task to do so.
Me? I am grateful for quiet mornings and pink-hued evening skies. I am thankful for people who choose to be friendly just because it is kind. I am overwhelmingly grateful for people who know me best and still love me and put up with me. I am thankful to have made every good decision I did, as well as every bad decision that ultimately helped me learn and grow — honestly, I am — except for those that may have hurt others.
For all of us, I am grateful for open hearts and open minds and a world filled with differences to challenge us. And I am optimistic the future will afford us more pretty skies, kind strangers and love for one another, despite our differences.
—Sarah Gatling/managing editor copy desk and features
I am thankful for my lovely wife of 58 years who has always been my supporter and encourager, I am thankful that all of our family is healthy, I am thankful for the public servants who are protecting safety and health on this holiday, and I am particularly thankful for the talented and dedicated doctors and nurses in the cardiac unit at Citrus Memorial Hospital whose skill and knowledge gave me the opportunity for many more good years.
—Mac Harris/citizen member