Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks and Gratitude

I am, of course, infinitely grateful for my family. My husband and I have traveled difficult roads together and have come through to achieve our goals.  Our love has withstood external buffets to reach a level of steadiness and quietude that neither one of us takes for granted. We have worked extremely hard to achieve what we consider our "American Dream."  We each have good jobs, we share a nice home we can afford, and own a good vehicle that we can afford.

My Mom and my husband are good friends, and our perpetual puppy Victoria Elizabeth rounds out our little family perfectly. Between the four of us, and with the constant help of God, we take care of each other, deal with each other, and always love each other.

I am extremely grateful for and proud of my nieces, one who did an excellent job in bringing her life back under control by taking responsibility for herself, and the other proudly serving our country in the Armed Forces and establishing a marvelous career and a bright future. For them, I thank God and pray for their continued safety.

I am grateful for the relationship rebuilt between my husband and his children from previous marriages. Family is much, much too important to waste because of a silly reason like divorced parents; he and his children are now family again.

I am grateful for my brother. Though our relationship is far from the best, far from the ideal hoped for by our Mom, he is still my brother and I thank God we are family. Once we manage to get over all the stupid remnants of childhood sibling issues, I pray it will not be too late for us to build a good relationship. When all is said and done, we will probably only have each other to lean on at the end.

I am grateful for all our wonderful friends who, though many live miles and miles away, I know would come running in an instant should we need their help, as we would for them. We are grateful to have been a part of the happy times we shared when we were geographically closer. We count on those warm memories to sustain our continued friendship.

As I listen daily to the various news reports, the latest decrees, pronouncements, and declarations coming out of the Congress, and the decisions made by the current leaders of our country, I fear for our future as individuals, as a family, and as a country. This fear, however, in no way diminishes the gratitude I feel in being fortunate enough to live in the United States.

I was not born in this country. My family emigrated when I was very young. I grew up as a foreigner but came to love this country as if I could look back at generations before me. I came to understand and fully appreciate the reasons behind the establishment of this country and the reasons for which it was established the way it was. I came to see that there really is no other better country on this planet. Even today, in the dread-inducing days through which we struggle to survive, I know I would rather struggle here than anywhere else on earth.

I am grateful for all those citizens of our country who are working hard to save our country in so many ways: from participating in "Tea Parties" to getting the nerve to run for elected office, to standing up to demand accountability from those currently in office. Those of us who cannot do those things are also active by writing and calling our elected representatives to remind them of the fundamentals on which our great country was built: the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution.

Those original building blocks are fundamental corner stones of this Country. They are not to be “reinterpreted” or “fundamentally changed” to suit one specific ideology, whether that ideology happens to be “in charge” or not. I am grateful for those courageous citizens who have made it their mission to do all they can to save our country through active protests and declared displeasure with the government. Citizens can be so vocal in their protests and not fear for their lives as a result in few other countries. This country is, so far, one of the few remaining.

My family is not rich; ironically enough, we were much “richer,” from the worldly perspective, in our native land. Through my marriage to an American, I have come to appreciate this country in ways many foreigners generally do not.  I am confident that we have achieved the real “American Dream” as exemplified by the Founders: we are self-sufficient and confident in our abilities. This is based in the knowledge and pride that we can take care of ourselves through our own hard work, without the government’s “assistance” and control – just as our Founders had when they created this extraordinary Country.

America’s past success is based on love of and trust in God, Family, and Country. We who believe those are the core values of this country must work together with one goal in mind: to return those core values to the forefront. We must all be confident that we can save her from the terrifying future toward which the government of “change” has set our path.

It is up to each American who believes in our history to fight against the moochers, fight against the dictatorship of those who wish to bring the government’s control into every tiny crevice of our lives. That level of control invariably leads to tyranny of the very type this country was created to escape. It is up to those of us who strongly believe in the fundamental strength and original purpose of our Country to ensure that it is not changed and ultimately destroyed.

We must tell the government in no uncertain terms that we are strong individually and can only be stronger as a Country by sustaining, not destroying, the foundations of this country as established in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America, and the Bill of Rights.

For that foundation, I give thanks to God and gratitude to the Founders.

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