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Guest column

Time to ponder and plenty to celebrate

November 25, 2009 - Millions of families will be sitting down this week around a table laden with scrumptious delicacies including, in some households, the centerpiece - a turkey with all the trimmings.

It's also a time to reminisce about the past year and maybe make some plans for the upcoming Holiday Season and the approaching year. Many families use this as an opportunity to recall the events they are most thankful for as each person around the table recites his or her blessings. As such, permit me to list those items I am most grateful for:

Thankful for: our three children, two son-in-laws, a daughter-in-law, and eleven grandchildren who every day bring us laughter and joy. A phone call with the voice on the other end saying, "Hi Grandpa," can turn a dreary day into a sun-filled experience. And of course with some of the grandchildren a text message is always welcomed even though I have difficulty reciprocating.

Thankful for: Mary, my spouse of 46 years who without a doubt is the best friend and lover one could hope for. Her sage advice, smile, sense of humor and ability to cope with my spur of the moment travel plans are attributes that reflect a marriage made in heaven. Perhaps our meeting for the first time in the basement of a Catholic rectory made this heavenly experience a reality.

Thankful for: my being cancer free for over eighteen months with a prognosis that is excellent thanks to the special care from the doctors at Henry Ford Hospital and of course from my favorite nurse - my wife, Mary.

Thankful for: even though my grandmother passed away in October, she lived to be 105 years of age and provided us with a wealth of happiness and stories. She continues to live in our memories.

Thankful for: the good health everyone in our family enjoys. In fact, Mary and I exercise every day - she at the gym doing aerobics - and me, running my usual five miles everyday and participating in races where I never win but somehow always finish.

Thankful for: the friends we have, some of whom we have known since childhood and new friendships we have formed over the years.

Thankful for: living in a country where we can express our support or lack thereof for various events without fear of recrimination.

Thankful for: our Michigan Governor being term-limited. Whoops, how did that slip in there?

Thankful for: the various family gatherings with our children, their spouses and our grandchildren. Canoeing, rafting, and camping are most enjoyable when surrounded by family. And of course, a scary ride on a roller coaster accompanied by a grandchild somehow makes it almost enjoyable - well, almost.

Thankful for: enjoying the occasional sporting event with my son. Our trip to Yankee Stadium to witness the Detroit Tigers beat the Yankees was a memorable outing.

Thankful for: watching our two daughters and son graduate from college and doing so in four years - a parent's dream. And watching them grow into parenthood with offspring that are well mannered, courteous and studious.

Thankful for: watching our grandchildren participate in sports, dance at recitals, act in plays, and just enjoy life.

My wish to all of you is that you have similar blessings and that your holidays are filled with family and friends and loads of laughter. And lots of great food and maybe an occasional victory by the Lions!

Bill Kalmar is a Lake Orion resident

Bill is a guest columnist for The Review. He is from Lake Orion.
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