By: Jeff Hoeben

A nice afternoon on the rockers on the porch of the new Camp Gray office is certainly something to be thankful for!

Tomorrow, without doubt is my favorite holiday of the year. Why? You may ask.  Simple really, there are no goofy little hearts with cheesy sayings like you would expect to see at Valentines Day and no one is expected to give gifts.  It is simply a time to come together with family and friends to share stories, laugh, love and of course eat!  It is, at its core, a time to revel in our blessings and as the name implies, “give thanks.”

I know, I may sound like I oversimplified it but what else needs to happen tomorrow?  Ok, sure there are some details to work out such as how we are going to fit 22 people around the dinner table and who is bringing the cranberries, and how can we make green bean casserole slightly different this year but really lets remember the true purpose of the day.

My recent battle with cancer has been a wonderful reminder of the need to be thankful.  As I at times got bogged down with treatments and days of sickness, I remembered that I could chase those feelings away if I choose to fill my head with positive things.  It is easy when we pause, even in the midst of big trials to find blessings in our life.  God is good to us and pausing to remember that does wonders in chasing the bad stuff from our mind.

So, I am pleased to say that this thanksgiving I am thankful for the big things like a clean PET scan, meaning I can say I am once again cancer free!  This of course brings with it the smaller secondary things to be thankful for such as the return of my eyebrows and a return of my appetite just in time for turkey!  More than that though, it is the voice of my two year old twins who run to me and say, “daddy, I woove you.” And my four year old who asks to build crazy flying machines with Tinker Toys.  It’s my wonderful wife, Rebecca, who has been right by my side throughout some tough times and it is Camp Gray and all the phenomenal staff and campers.  Have a very happy Thanksgiving and please remember to pause and count your blessings tomorrow.