I was born on the second Monday in October, although my birthday falls on a Wednesday this year. For my American readers, the second Monday in October is Thanksgiving in Canada. My mother used to joke that she missed out on one turkey and got another.
At least I think she was joking.
Many people associate Thanksgiving with their religious beliefs. I am not a religious person; far from it. Still, I can be thankful, but who to, and for what?
I am thankful to and for my wife. Diane makes my life easier and a lot more fun. We have laughed through good times and less than good times for 40 years. We've sure showed all those people who said it wouldn't last.
I am thankful to and for my sons, Mike and Brad. Mike pushed and cajoled me into putting my books on Kindle, which has revitalized them. Brad is off doing his PhD in England, and I can live vicariously through his studies.
I am thankful to and for my assistance dog, Tara. I would be looking at the world from a wheelchair if she hadn't come into my life 10 years ago. Now she reminds me of when it's time to stop for a break and smell the dog biscuits.
I am thankful to and for the circle of friends who have stood by me in good times and bad.
While I hold no religious beliefs, I am thankful to have friends from a variety of religions - Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddists, and the Christians who don't hate everyone who doesn't share their beliefs give me a greater understanding for the need for peaceful coexistence.
I am thankful for my gay and lesbian friends, who show me strength, courage, and most importantly, the power of love in all forms. I am glad they include me as a hetrosexual ally in their struggle for acceptance.
I am thankful for and my fellow writers, Bruce, Ridley, Tracy, Gayle, Dave, Nancy, and so many more who inspire (and often make me jealous) by their skills.
I am thankful to and for whoever it was that invented the Kindle, a small electronic device that has radically changed my income as a writer.
I am thankful to and for my readers; those who buy my books because they know my work, and those who buy them despite not knowing me, but who are willing to give my books a shot.
It may come as a shock, but I am even thankful to and for becoming a paraplegic 21 years ago. Oh sure, there are a lot of negatives about that part of my life, but without it I would not have had the opportunity to write the 8 books and over a thousand articles and feature columns that bear my name. Knowing what I know today, if I could go back and somehow prevent the accident, or decide to stay the way I am, I would choose the latter.
So on this second Monday in October, I am thankful to and for a lot in my life.
And if you are reading this, let me just say, "Thanks!"