|By Dan Casey, The Roanoke Times, Va.|
|Source:||McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
She was in her 15th month of dialysis, and "I became weaker and sicker as time went on," she told me.
Loritts, 65, of northwest
But her life changed dramatically in February. Her eldest son,
And oh my goodness, she is grateful.
So are many others, based on answers from scores of readers to this simple question: "For what are you thankful?"
"As a result of my transplant, I am a new person," Loritts wrote. "The
"Now, I am walking a minimum of 5 miles a week and I am able to assume most of my old lifestyle, which can be summed up in one word -- active.
"Thankful is not enough of a word for the love and care I have been given by my family, my significant other of 11 years,
"Sometimes on my daily walks I become tearful, full to the brim with joy and thankfulness for this new lease on life. I am committed to raising awareness of the many dangers of diabetes and the many rewards of organ donorship."
Issues of sickness and health, and of loved ones lost and saved, were a dominant theme in this year's reader responses. Much of what follows was edited for space, and others were omitted. Many of those are on my blog, at blogs.roanoke.com/dancasey.
Here is Allen's, followed by a huge grab bag of thankfulness from others. Have a great and fulfilling
I'm a little bit like the boy was when his mother asked him how many things he was thankful for, and he said, "I can't count that far."
I'm thankful that I went to an ole-timey prayer meeting and met a cute little girl, back in the late 1940s, and married
I'm thankful I was able to give up smoking more than 25 years ago, after having a major heart attack. A few months later I had a quadruple bypass, and then 13 years later, after a minor heart attack, they put 4 stents in. I'm thankful the Lord gives the doctors the wisdom and knowledge to keep us going.
Dan, the very day that you had your column about being thankful, we had a very exciting incident take place. We decided to eat lunch at KFC and I gave [my wife] my billfold to buy our lunch, and when she got back she handed me the billfold and I didn't give it another thought.
Well after we got home I turned on the radio to listen to the race. I can't get it on TV because I just have basic. Just about the time the race was about to end, the phone rang. The person on the other end asked if I was
They said, "we found your billfold on the floor." Well I went into a panic. I have lung problems so that made it much worse. So I got my wife and we headed off back to KFC. This young lady found and turned it in to her boss. She was not only a young lady, she was an angel.
So after all the breaking into houses and robbing and stealing there are still good people in this world. I did not have a fortune in the billfold but I had important papers and [my] driver's license.
There are still some honest folks here, especially at KFC.
For my Mama and Daddy, who have weathered the hardest year of their lives with dignity and strength. For the doctors at
I am thankful for Feeding America Southwest Virginia and all that they do to help partner agencies feed hungry people.
Not only do they help feed, they advocate locally, statewide, and nationally for those who often have no voice and more than likely an empty stomach. FASWVA works tirelessly on behalf of everyone to ensure that those who need food assistance get it.
I am thankful for
It was hard to keep food on the table then. I remember Ruth going to work at
Momma Crouch still calls me her son today, and I still call her mom. I love you
I am specially thankful to my neighbor's dog. She lives behind the fencing that separates our back yard from that of our neighbor. I noticed that she is rather lonely, but has very expressive eyes.
I am a stay-home mom and my children are grown up. So, I am rather lonely. One day I approached her across the fence and she was very happy. I gave her an Indian name (Tutun) and she responds to that name. She likes me and I talk to her. We became good friends. She fills a void in my lonely life and I am really thankful to her for that.
I am thankful for the time I had with my father. We traveled many places over the years. The last trip we took was out west just a few months ago. We did not know that it would be our last trip together.
Dad had major heart surgery about three weeks after we returned. He had many complications from the surgery and never recovered.
I am thankful for the last trip with him and very thankful that I was by his side for many weeks after his surgery. I was with him when he took his last breath and now he has taken the trip of a lifetime without me. I am thankful he is on this wonderful journey in heaven.
I am thankful for shelter from the elements.
I realize how fortunate I am when I think of soldiers and marines who have fought through the blazing heat of
Just think: a simple rainstorm could bring great misery when you don't have a washer and dryer at your disposal.
I was born and raised in
We live in a beautiful place, surrounded by citizens who are equally beautiful on the inside. For these things I am deeply grateful!
I am thankful that I still have my husband, Dave. On
He was taken to Roanoke Memorial where I was told he had brainstem activity only and wouldn't survive. Late that night I woke to the sound of him coughing. He was looking at me, wondering where he was. I called the nurses and was told it was a miracle.
In the next 10 months, four rehabs and several hospital stays later, I was told he wasn't going to make it four more times. Luckily, they were all wrong. He is the love of my life. He makes me laugh, grumble, and cuss, but I am a better person because of him.
This year in addition to all the things I am thankful for, I am thankful for a new granddaughter. Josie was born
I believe that all things happen for a reason and God sent this new little baby to bless our family. There is nothing like grandchildren to love and spoil.
I am thankful for my husband of 23 years, 5 months and 27 days. I am thankful Ronnie's idea of unwinding after work is cooking an amazing meal for his girls. I am thankful for Ronnie's bad eyesight, as he thinks I look beautiful in the morning.
I am thankful that when I signed us up for ballroom dance lessons, he just smiled.
I am thankful that even though I have a chronic illness, he never makes me feel like a burden. I am thankful that Ronnie loves being challenged -- physically and mentally; as being married to me is kind of like that.
But most of all I love that my Ronnie loves God and prays for me and his two beautiful daughters every day!
I was hit and severely injured in a head-on auto accident last November on Black Friday. I left home that morning at
Thanks to God and a wonderful team of doctors, physical therapists, and a strong and loving husband and sons and great co-workers, I have made it back. I am now walking again and even driving again. At first it was thought I would lose my left foot and not walk again.
There are so many drivers out there not paying attention to themselves or others. Please, please put your seat belts on and your cellphones down!
I am thankful for a recent event that brought my family closer. In January of 2011, we had a house fire.
It didn't burn everything, but it was bad enough to keep us from living there. We stayed with friends from church while everything was being settled to where we could have our own home again.
Our family has been like any other family until we cried and had to figure things out together. If the fire had never happened, we wouldn't be as close as we are now.
I am thankful for Dr.
The recession caused my husband to recently close the small business he started 34 years ago. In 2009, just after we lost our medical insurance, a cataract stole the vision from my right eye and, with it, my love of reading and the ability to drive at night. Then, other health issues caused me to visit the
I am thankful for all blessings of life. A mother and father who raised a large family with not much in the way of material things but a lot of love. Also I'm thankful that I lived in the time I lived when things were simpler and we didn't try to "keep up with the Joneses."
Most of all, thankful for the young man, Jesus, who gave his life for me.
We are just so thankful that we still have our daughter-in-law (Robin) with us this
She is now home doing great and we all are so grateful and thank God for her complete recovery!
It is such a blessing that I can live in this wonderful retirement home, where I am treated like a queen every day. My apartment is small but adequate. The food is very delicious, varied and special. The staff here at
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
I'm thankful for something that I hate more than anything. My son was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2004 at age 4. He is a seven-year survivor.
I know now I haven't experienced the worst of the worst -- because he is still here. I have made friends all over the world. I have raised over
Being thankful this year is especially significant for me since the day falls on the 24th. On that day 67 years ago I was very fortunate to marry one of the greatest young ladies one could ever hope to share an adult life with for nearly 63 years,
I can look back and acknowledge that her support and encouragement enabled me to be distinctly more successful in professional and other pursuits than I could do alone. We established a family where her presence as a mother was essential in raising two sons.
I am thankful to be able to have memories of that superb time in my life because of her. In spite of great families and friends, activities alone are not quite the same without her.
There was traveling on the Parkway, at the same time, an anesthesiologist from
He stopped, after telling his wife, "that boy's dead." He went through all efforts to bring Matt back. A helicopter took Matt to the trauma unit at
After many days in a coma, many operations, much therapy and determination Matt told his doctors, "I am going home for
There are many things in life you can be thankful for, but some are more important than others.
I am thankful that my heart condition doesn't stop me from playing sports or any other activities. Going to college is very important to me and I'm so thankful that it has given me the opportunity to pursue my career while others can't.
The most important thing is giving my grandma the strength to survive during these last couple of years. It is a blessing and I'm so thankful I have her here to spend the holidays with.
I have a grandson who is 23 years old. When he was 16 he got into drugs as drugs are everywhere in high schools. After his parents sent him to several rehab centers, with no apparent good results, and after spending lots and lots of money, he was finally entered into a teen challenge center in
After spending a full year there my grandson found religion was his way to drug freedom.
I am so thankful for the teen center and my grandson for his courage and wanting to help himself during the past trying year. Now we are able to play golf and share our lives with each other.
I am thankful this
I'm also grateful for friends both old and new. My lunch bunch friends have known each other for more that forty years. While we always have new things to talk about, there is a comfort that comes from knowing them for such a long time that we each know where the other is coming from. One at a time we have been through most of what life brings.
That I was born to poor parents, who loved me and taught me the value of life.
For teachers that corrected me and encouraged me to do my best. For the Marines that taught me responsibility.
For my two wives. Betty took a young man just out of the Marines, put him through college and dental school, gave him three wonderful children.
For Judy, my second wife, whom I love very much, and her two sons. Seth, age 9 when we married, is now a physician. For all of my patients, who allowed me to take care of their dental needs for 42 years.
For all of my friends and my health.
I am thankful for our public library. I cannot imagine doing without the library. I get the books I want to read and the library has a meeting room that I play bridge in twice a month. The library has computers available if mine bites the dust. A book club, a writer's club -- even gospel music is going on at our library!
It's been almost 6 months since the death of my mother. She passed away after a long battle with breast cancer. It hasn't been easy, but I have come to a point where I can say I'm truly blessed to have had the time that I was given with her.
I am thankful that my mother Ms. Margaret (Babysis) Garrison was able to show me the rights and wrongs of life. The love that was given to me shows every day through the love that I now give to my daughter.
My MS has been in remission for several years now and for this, I am eternally grateful. Perhaps this will help someone else who is going through a rough time. If you can use it, please do. God is showing me many ways of getting my story out.
When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the early 80s, I had so many adjustments to make. I am thankful that I'm now in remission and I attribute this to my six F's:
I start with my thumb which stands for Faith.
My index finger represents Fight, never giving up. We are fighting our demons.
The center finger represents Family. My family has always been my greatest source of encouragement.
The ring finger represents Friends. Often when we are at our weakest or lowest point our friends come through.
And finally, my pinky finger stands for Fun, that ability to laugh and enjoy life even when all seems hopeless.
I then make a Fist and what is on top -- my thumb -- Faith. Everything else is safely tucked inside.
In anticipation of
Some years back, her long anticipated new stove had arrived just in time for its first use
So over the river and through the woods they went for a delicious holiday dinner at their favorite restaurant.
What was Wilma thankful for? She said, "I was thankful for my new stove but really thankful that we came home when we did."
Activities Assistant, Heritage Hall
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