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Got to be Real: Give and be thankful

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By SHONNA SHECKLES

Well, the holiday season is upon us again, and I do mean upon us. I viewed my first holiday commercial on Halloween night. Please, could they wait until November before they start reminding us to rush out and buy or, back by popular demand, use lay-away?

Now, after that ranting, consider if you ever take a moment, close your eyes, take three deep breathes and yell, “What am I thankful for?” Well, at times, I’m not really that dramatic but I do think about the word “thankful.”

I think I take a lot for granted sometimes, as if I am privileged, if you will. The air I am breathing is not mine nor was it provided by me, so I need to be thankful. Plus, I could be on oxygen, needing artificial help with every breathe I take.

What about getting out of bed in the mornings? No, I don’t jump right up like I did when I was a kid. But with a little massage of the muscles, I can walk around unaided. I don’t have to concern myself about how I will transfer myself from one area of my home to the other because I can get around all by myself. I’m thankful for mobility.

Now this one is going to sound crazy to some, but it is my true feeling. So, let’s go with it, OK? I am so thankful the election is over. I am so disappointed in the behavior of some people during this whole process. The zoo should be full of all the leopards that changed their spots right before my very eyes. I’m thankful I am the same person every day and I don’t feel the need to say what others need to hear so that I can fit in. As my daddy taught me, my place is anywhere I want to be.

Finally, I am thankful for family and true friends.

Yes, every family has its level of dysfunction, but when you know it and are able to admit it up front, then it is all good. I treasure the fact that at age 52, I have been blessed to have both my parents, relatively healthy and still full of life. I thank God every day for that blessing and I don’t take their presence for granted.

And then there are true friends. I hate to tell you, but not everybody is your friend. In this life, if you have two or three true friends, consider yourself a minority. We all have close acquaintances, but true friends are the ones who still love you when you can’t find a thing to love about yourself. A true friend is one you don’t have to see every day, but when you do, you’re able to pick up where you had left off. A true friend is the one who tells you the painful truth for your own good. I am thankful to surround myself with those types of people.

As we enter into this season of giving, please remember to give of your whole self, but always do it with truth, grace and thanksgiving.

Shonna Sheckles works in Elizabethtown and lives in Bardstown. She can be reached at kyclassie78@hotmail.com.