Letters to the Editor

A time to count our blessings and give thanks

Day for blessings

While I plan the menu and relearn the recipes

The thought crosses my mind to create something different,

Something new — yet not quite astray.

No, not just the menu but the emails, messages and phone calls

But the attitude and the way I carry it all

From God or from every living thing I see

A mammoth task, great idea but oh so daunting!

So bear with me while I thank the sun, the fresh air and even the forecast of snow,

The fact that I woke up to write this

Yes, even the paper and pen, and particularly in a world so free

My parents, my family and friends; and the foes that make me strong!

Why not thank the music in my radio that puts the roar in my drive

And broadcasts that spruce up my general knowledge

I look out the window, and yes I thank you

Every tree, every bush and the leaves on the ground

Even early rushed mornings, and chaotic routines

Every smile, a nod and even the growl

Your forgiveness, encouragement and even the rebuke

I thank you all, and may we all have a wonderful

A very happy Thanksgiving!

Radhika Gupta Leawood Thanks, furry friends

I still remember my very first pet, Butch, a little red terrier.

My folks decided one day that I was old enough to have a pet. I was about 5 or 6 years old.

We went to a pet shop in Kansas City and spotted Butch, who was sound asleep while the rest of the litter jumped on him, biting his ears and yanking his tail.

We felt so sorry for him until he woke up and proceeded to put his brothers and sisters in their places one by one. Right then, Mom, Dad and I decided that this mighty little creature should become part of our family.

Butch was the only pet that our family ever bought at a pet shop. In 1966, Butch went for $12. Since then, every pet our family has had has been a homeless cat or dog that we adopted.

Animals ask so little and give so much. If it is true that we will reunite with our furry friends when we die, I will have quite a menagerie to greet me when that time comes.

Lynn Pierce Independence Children’s hospitals

Our 41/2-year-old granddaughter died of pulmonary hypertension. We would like to thank all her doctors and Children’s Mercy Hospital for the good care they gave her.

Also, for the good care she received at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she passed away. We are also thankful for her Make a Wish trip she took in May 2012 to Disney World.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to these and to the Ronald McDonald House. You made a difference.

Linda Jean Olathe Good memories

I thank fate for my Goldilocks time, sliced with

Cherished memories of

The handshake with Sen. J. William Fulbright

The Thanksgiving Day family ritual of a hog harvest

Car rides before seat-belt laws

Phones connections via wires only

Watching Lance Alworth play football in real time

Watching mankind’s moon landing live on TV

The family train ride from KC Union Station to St. Louis Union Station

Finishing a marathon

“Platoon,” the movie, exposing all I need to know about war

Biking 105 miles in 105 degrees

Frightening the kids every Halloween

Joining Team Spirit, the cycling phenom, across many states

Helping wage the Cold War and earning victory

Meandering Missouri rivers by canoe

Witnessing a racially diverse president

A magical family that grew from two into 10

Hauling hay in the record 113-degree Arkansas heat (broken later by 2 degrees)

Living in Kansas City during the record minus 23-degree cold

Inflation that makes everyone seem rich to me.

Dale Basham Lee’s Summit Lasting gift of life

How can one comprehend the miracle of being transformed from near death to full health? There is one person who created this miracle and gave me back my life, my family, my medical practice, my health and my hope.

This angel of mercy is Kim Schwede of Lenexa. Kim came into my life when I hired her to help run my medical practice.

She has become a friend to my entire family and I to hers. In April 2012, my kidneys began to fail after pneumonia and my Type I diabetes. Family and friends offered to be donors, but Kim volunteered first and said, “I know it is going to be me.” Her husband, Kevin, children and parents were in support of her giving me this gift.

On April 11, 2013, I received Kim’s kidney. It was out of her body and into mine within 93 seconds.

That night I went for a walk. I had not felt that strong in more than a year.

I was reborn. My fiancee, family and friends raise her up in thanksgiving, for without her incredible sacrifice I would not be here for Thanksgiving 2013.

Michael S. Mancina, M.D. Kansas City Thanking Mom

My 87-year-old mother died of lung cancer. I am thankful:

That she was able to die in her own bed at home wrapped in our arms.

That I was able to hold her all night long, seeing her reach out as she left this earthly plane.

That we went on a cruise and tour of Asia and Australia recently.

That I was able to tell her how much I have admired how she has lived her life. I am thankful now as I go through her things how much I have given her, expressing my love and appreciation, apologizing for my teenage antics.

That she showed me the meaning of unconditional love and support.

That my daughter knows and loves her grandmother.

That I have gotten to know and love so many of my mother’s friends.

That my mother left her affairs in such good order.

That I witnessed her move from our big old house to a small condo, downsizing with such grace.

That I have such a wonderful and supportive brother, husband, daughter, friends and relatives who are there for me.

I am thankful that I didn’t wait to say, “I love you.”

Sherrie Davis Kansas City Gratitude in living

Being grateful is a state of mind. It can be cultivated into a habit and become how we live.

It is very much an attitude about how we relate to God, our family, our friends and those who come in and out of our lives. Rather than mere words, we are called to live a life of gratitude.

Gratitude takes nothing for granted. It is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the ultimate goodness of God.

For the grateful person knows God is good, not by hearsay, but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.

Michael R. Shirley Leawood Family, love

On this day of Thanksgiving, I want my voice to be heard. Thank you for your love.

I’m so lucky to have this great big wonderful family. We all hold each other up in hard times and celebrate together in the good times.

I appreciate the variety of gifts this family brings to the world. Thank God we all aren’t clones — how boring.

Some of you don’t even realize what you have given to the world. We all have more to offer and have a future of making the world a better place.

We are so fortunate to have been born into our world of peace and freedom. We have a loving family that cares about us.

Let’s focus on our blessings. Let others know they have worth and are recognized. I am recognizing you right now.

Jane Robinson Leach Shawnee Surviving a stroke

I am a 59-year-old stroke survivor of five years. On Oct. 18, 2008, I suffered a massive stroke and came within minutes of dying.

I am thankful the good Lord saw to spare my life. During those five years, I have been treated very graciously even by strangers who open doors for me, speak very kindly and are patient. My friends and family have helped at practically every opportunity. My loving wife has loved and cared for me each and every day.

The most precious gift has been meeting five of my grandchildren born during this time of recovery.

Joe Lavender Lenexa Dreams of yesteryear

The smell of turkey is everywhere at my grandmother’s house. She is in the kitchen with her girls, sharing those tips for the perfect sweet-potato pie.

The men are in the other room watching football. The Macy’s parade was on earlier in the morning. The younger crowd is out back, playing flag football.

The out-of-town family is finally here, and all the food is on the beautifully set table. There is a little table for the kids. Yes, we are all here, young, old, missing (but not far from our thoughts) and even the dogs.

We bow our heads and thank God for all of our blessings and for each other, and eat.

Then I wake up and realize I was dreaming about the good ol’ days, when I was a kid. That was before dads had to work on Thanksgiving Day.

And before technology took away table conversations and shared memories, and before earbuds drowned out Grandma’s favorite story. And before Thanksgiving Day sales and greed took priority over family. And, suddenly, I am sad. What happened?

I want my dream back.

Karen Zentz Raymore Each day’s gifts

On my bedroom wall is a picture that says, “Every day is a gift.”

Some days come wrapped in bright colorful splashes and tied with a beautiful bow. Other days are covered in brown paper and tied with string.

But no matter. We can always find something wonderful about the day.

It may be a call from a friend, a smile from someone during your walk, a hug from a great-grandchild, a tree showing its glorious colors or a song on the radio that brings a great memory.

In my prayers at bedtime I thank God for many things — especially family. I have a long list of people I mention. But sometimes I fall asleep before I get to the end.

Look out your window — the gifts are there.

Esther Kreek Overland Park Medical advances

I have a lot to be thankful for this year, but these stand out. When I experienced chest pains this April, I had many friends and family who called and helped me.

Although I had to give up the work that I loved to do, I have been able to bounce back. But I also want to say that I thank the efforts of those in the medical field, for my blood pressure has been brought back to normal because of medication that has been developed.

I am thankful for many blessings, but I have to mention two in particular: My wife of 27 years, Miss Wanda, and my only son who, like me, was named after an Archangel, Gabriel.

And lastly, I am thankful to live in the greatest country on earth, the United States of America.

Michael J. Knight Kansas City, Kan. Life’s joys, blessings

I am thankful for my wife, Angela, and for my family. I wasn’t blessed to have my own children, but by marriage I have beautiful stepdaughter LaTonya, son-in-law James and grandchildren Jalesa and Joshua, all of whom I love dearly.

I am thankful for my home in Belton. I thank God for my Bible study group. I am thankful for my newly adopted shih tzu dog Gator, who would have been euthanized if it

weren’t for adoption.

Most of all I am thankful to my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, for saving me by dying on the cross at Calvary so that my eternity will be better than my life here on this earth.

Michael L. Walker Belton