"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it
is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
William Arthur Ward
The very act of making a list of those we are grateful for is often very
affirming and reminds us that even when life seems less than perfect, you
have a choice: You can complain that a rose has thorns, or rejoice that the
thorns have a rose.
So here, as tradition dictates, allow me to acknowledge those people I am
so thankful for:
While I know that speaking so openly of gratitude might make him uncomfortable,
I find that I am unable to not begin by thanking Neil Beaty — a man who has been
my absolute angel this year. When I had a difficult surgical procedure last month,
he remained at my side (putting his own life and needs aside) for three weeks while
he cared for me. After taking me to each pre-op visit and finally the surgery
itself, he stayed to assure my recovery. He cleaned my wounds, charted my medications;
even helped me to walk. Complications during the surgery meant that the weeks that
followed would be more problematic and would require many, many long trips to the
doctor. He was there through it all, helping me physically and emotionally to deal
with the pain and with the stress of not feeling in control. He went without sleep
to get me through difficult nights, he made sure I ate right, and he ran every
errand that needed attention. There will never be sufficient words to thank Neil
for the gentle sweetness he showed me during this time and I will forever be grateful.
He knows I love him, but how do you thank someone for saving your life?
Neil, you told me once a long time ago, that anything worth having is worth working for,
and while I've always heard that, you were the first to make me believe it. How can I
thank you for all you've given me and how you've changed my life?
I am grateful for dear friends. People go in and out of our lives. But some stay for
a while and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same. Please
indulge me as I thank a few personally…
Aaron Gillum: You've been the dearest friend for the last year... always ready with the
truth whether I was ready to hear it or not. The countless long talks, many late into
the night, have provided me more insight than you'll ever know and set me on many of
the paths I am walking right now. How does one measure the value of a friend like that?
And now, I am proud of you as you find your true talent as a gifted, creative writer.
Rob Chiller: Managing Editor for this magazine... I've come to know I can count on you.
I've come to trust you. And I've come to really respect you. Your talent, your wicked
sense of humor, and your giving nature will carry you to success. You're a gem, Rob and we
couldn't do it without you.
Jo Cordi: Managing Editor for this magazine... You keep me laughing and keep me thinking. You
listen without judging and your advice is always on target. A beacon to many of our readers
and those in our forums, you've been that for me also. Thank you for all your hard work and
for being my friend as well. You wear your beauty with such grace.
Beverly Knauer: You've been my cheerleader when I needed one, and a shoulder to lean on.
You're warm, down to earth, and funny as hell. You and I talk on an interesting level I
haven't explored in years and you allow the rather fun, sometimes over-the-top side of me
to come out and play. You've also shown tremendous strength and courage this year — from
the California fires that so touched your life, to the personal challenges you've faced.
I am so proud of you.
Terri DiCamillo: For the last seven years you've been like a sister to me. You tell me what
I need to hear even when I resist. You allow me to explore the human condition and to ask
"why?" Thanks for always being there. We all need a "rock" we can count on. You are one of
Cathy Ghavamian: I have such admiration for you. I see you handle all that life throws at
you and you remain filled with a grace and goodness far too rare in this world. I want to
grow up to be just like you.
Tracey Haider-Sprague: A talented writer, good friend, and strong lady who wears her beauty
on both the inside and the outside. Anyone would be blessed to have a friend like you. I
am grateful to be one of those friends.
Gayle Davis: We've been friends since the 3rd grade. How's that for a long time? There's
a reason everyone called us "sisters." If you ever need anything, I'm here for you. I love
Stephanie Thompson and Amy Dungan: You've been more than just great moderators at our forums.
You've been good friends and we've shared a lot. I look forward to getting to know each of you
better as we continue to work together.
I am also grateful for the wonderful people of our TLC forums who have become like a second
family. I count on your support as much as anyone else. Ophelia, Cindy, Rho, BrownieGirl,
Slic, Max, LowCarbDude, Oceans, Doggy, Scigirl, Ginger... and well, if I had room to name
all 3,000+ of you, I would…
And finally, to my son Stuart and daughter-in-law, Laura. Family is an important connection
and you two are my anchor to all that family truly means. You've both had a rough year and
have come through it stronger. If I don't tell you often enough, I am very proud of you both
and love you so much.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Copyright © November 2003 Lora Ruffner and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2003 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury