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Thank You

Thank you…two simple words that are easy to say and mean so much.

This Memorial Day weekend, I came across veterans sitting in front of the Wawa collecting for disabled vets. I have NEVER in my life passed by those men without making a donation, even if I have gone into the store on multiple occasions over the course of the weekend. In fact, I have amassed quite a few poppies over the past few days thanks to them. Aside from always donating, I always make sure I look those men in the eyes and say “Thank you for your service”. If you have never done that when donating, you really need to. Those men appreciate a thank you just as much, if not more than the donation itself. It always makes them smile and sometimes even makes them teary eyed. They deserve every single thank you that they get, and then some if you ask me. When I see people walk by them like they are invisible, it actually disgusts me. If you don’t have any money to donate, a simple thank you is what they deserve at the very least.

Also this weekend, the volunteer firemen were doing their drive by fundraiser by standing at the entrance of the Shop Rite parking lot. On my way out, I stopped to make a donation and thanked the man for his volunteer service. He actually did a double take, smiled, and thanked me for saying that. He said no one had ever said to him before. As I pulled away, I was pretty shocked. How could no one have ever said thank you to him before? That bothered me, as did the many cars that drove right by him without making a small donation. My father was a paid fireman in North Jersey. I hope people stopped to thank him once in a while for what he did for them.(I’m going to have to ask him about that!)

Today on the way to my parents house, we drove past a coin toss for a different volunteer fire company. My daughter had never seen that before, but happily scooped out a bunch of change I had in the car. I slowed almost to a stop so she could throw it out the window at the target. The firemen all smiled, waved, and yelled thank you to us. As I drove away, my daughter remarked how happy the firemen seemed that we donated, and smiled at how they had so heartily thanked us…then noted that no one else had slowed down and done the same….and it bothered her too. On the way home we passed them again, and once again I slowed down so she could throw a big handful of change at the other target. This time they beeped the fire truck horn at us, smiled, and yelled thank you. Sadly, again she noted that no one else had slowed down and thrown their change. She said she hoped that we weren’t the only people that participated in the coin toss, because in her words, “It’s just not right.” I assured her that we weren’t but she didn’t seem very convinced that too many other people had tossed some coins, despite the signs preceding it for about a mile.

If I have taught my daughter anything in life, it is the value of “thank you”. Every time she sees a veteran collecting or anyone in a military uniform, she thanks them for their service. When she sees the firemen or ambulance squad doing their fundraising, she always says thank you for volunteering as she makes her donation too. I’ve taught her that anyone who makes a sacrifice for others should hear a thank you from the public. It’s a shame when a 10 year old knows better than the adults she sees around her…but I am pleased that she notices it and points out that it’s wrong. Tomorrow she is excited to go to the Memorial Day parade in town, so she can wave at the veterans and give thanks to them. I hope there is a decent crowd on hand, for her sake and theirs. It’s a sign of respect these men and women deserve, but often don’t receive enough.

To all of the men and women who currently serve or have served this country, I wholeheartedly say THANK YOU for your sacrifice. (Thank you to the Police Officers, Firemen, and EMTS too!) My daughter and I appreciate your service.

Thank you…two simple words that are easy to say and mean so much.

Don’t forget to use them as often as possible. Those two simple words matter.


My Silver Linings

I have been hit with more than my fair share of bad news lately, and it got me to thinking about all of the good things I have in my life that I am thankful for. I’ve realized that there are plenty:

I am thankful for my parents: They have raised me with unconditional love and given me quite an example to follow in life. The older I get, the more I am aware of that!

I am thankful that when I turned 18, I figured out that my brother was not really a person who was meant to torture me in life, but rather someone who was meant to be one of my best friends. (The torture did mold me into a tough person and makes for some amusing stories though.)

I am thankful for FATE- I believe it is what helped me to move across the street from my future husband at the age of 14.

Speaking of my husband, I am thankful everyday to know that he is the person I will still be holding hands with when I am old and gray!

I am thankful for the greatest accomplishment in my life: my daughter. She amazes me on a daily basis and fills my heart with an unexplainable joy – even when she is running through my house screeching at the top of her lungs, while the dog chases her!

I am thankful for the gigantic dog we have that unfortunately thinks he is a poodle. He literally crushes me with his love everyday, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I am thankful for my extended family – they say “You can’t pick your family”, but if I did have the choice, they are the ones I would pick – even the nutty ones!

I am thankful for my friends – the people we actually can pick in life! The closest ones are the dearest to me – because I can completely be myself with them, and somehow they continue to like me! ūüėČ

I’m thankfully blessed with the best neighbors I could ever ask for. To walk out my front door and see people everyday that I consider my FRIENDS is a wonderful thing.

Finally, I am thankful for the wise words of my father: “When you go out into the world, choose a career that you love, or in the end it will be nothing but a job.” He was 100% correct on that one! I get to spend my days doing what I LOVE with some of the greatest people I know. Even the least smooth of days has a great point in it somewhere, and it’s usually quite hysterical!

So – there it is…a big bundle of thankfulness. Ahhhh! I’m happy, healthy, loved, and incredibly blessed – what more could I ask for? I can’t think of a one!

“People who lead the most fulfilling lives are the ones who rejoice in what they have.”
Today, I am most certainly rejoicing!


Last week when¬†I turned 40, my cousin told me that I “would now care even less about what people thought, if that was even possible”. I smiled when I read that because I knew she was right. I think she meant¬†about me when she said that, but for me it’s just an all-around¬†way of thinking. ¬†That clarity didn’t strike the day I turned 40, but close enough.

In the past year or so, that has been my new mentality; what is actually important in life, and what’s not. Without getting too deep into it, I’ve seen a number of people I truly care about have some not so pleasant instances happen in their lives, whether it be illness, loss, or just plain old¬†bad things that happen to good people. ¬†I always thought these were things that none of us would ever have to worry about now, because late 30’s and 40’s didn’t seem like the time for that…but I guess that little assumption was wrong. I don’t know exactly when I thought those kinds of things would start happening – but just not yet, I guess.

Anyway, when they started to all come at once, it really opened my eyes to the way¬†I had viewed things so far in life. Looking back, I feel like I actually wasted some of the precious time I have¬†in my life caring about things that were incredibly unimportant. Now, I could truly care less who said what about who, or what so and so did, etc. ¬†If it doesn’t have a direct impact on my life, I just do not care. Unless it gives me a chuckle, it’s just useless information as far as I’m concerned.

My sole focus is now happiness and appreciating those I choose to have in my world. I count my blessings every night when I lay in bed, and am thankful for everything I’ve got: my health, a career I love, and being surrounded by people who I love and who love me right back unconditionally.

Not so long ago, someone accused me of “getting soft”. It’s not getting soft, it’s prioritizing…and I think it’s a really great thing.

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