The older I get the less I take for granted

as published in the Blytheville Courier News on Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Have you notice that young people are spoiled, ungrateful and feel entitled to all they want? There are people that seem to simply walk through the rain and never get wet. Those that have never known what it is like to “do without.” People that have never had to work for what they have, yet still get more than you do. People that live lives similar to the Princes and the Pea. People that have not gone through a hard enough life that they know what its like to want to die. Man they get under my skin.

Once upon a time I was also a spoiled brat. And I can finally appreciate the horrible things that have happened to me, because that has changed me. The good thing about life (Where bad things happen, people do you wrong, loved ones die, people betray and money runs out long before the month does) is that it teaches you to “suck it up sweetheart” and appreciate the important things in life. Ironically, the really important things in life always first appear as small and underappreciated.

I am thankful for a God that loves me, forgives me and talks with me. It would be easy to assume that He loves me only because He has to or that everyone has this blessing in their life, but the truth is, He doesn’t and they don’t. Only after going through the worst pains life can send, did I begin to appreciate the fact that when the whole worlds turns their back on me, God is still there for me!

I am also thankful for a terrific, beautiful woman that loves me, brings joy to my life every day, is kind to me, doesn’t lie to me and makes me very happy. It was only after having been lied to many times by those close to me that I fully appreciate the blessing of an honest woman. Only because I know what it was like to live in a world that was entirely gray, depressing and hopeless, can I appreciate how lovely, endearing and hope-filled a simple smile from her can be…or a held hand….or a soft word….or an encouraging comment…or a kind gesture. Love between a man and a woman is so much deeper and more beautiful than a simple arrangement for services or the loathsome, arduous task of fulfilling a much-regretted commitment.

I am thankful for my two daughters and any relationship that I can have with them. It has always infuriated me when I see parents take for granted the time and access that they have with their children. Only after being completely estranged from them for many, many, many long years, have I been able to fully appreciate how sweet a daddy/daughter relationship can be. One daughter is still estranged, but one relationship is growing quite rich (over the phone because she lives out west now), but I have hope that one day both relationships will be restored. Love is not limited by time, distance, circumstances or lies.

I am thankful for parents that have always been there for me, have always loved me and have always been a place that I could run to when this cruel world became too much.

I am thankful for a couple, and I do mean only a couple, truly good friends that I can be myself in front of. They took time to get to know the real me. Good, bad or ugly, they have accepted me and loved me while all others are mere acquaintances.

I am thankful, that for the most part I have been healthy. I have not known the sorrow of personally experiencing diseases or chronic pain and for that I thank God everyday.

I am thankful that I live in a wonderful, beautiful, cozy, bubble of safety I call home. Too many people don’t have that and I am determined that I will not take it for granted.

I am thankful that I have a job. Not only do I have a job, but I have a job that is interesting and that allows me to meet wonderful people everyday.

I am thankful for my “country.” Not only does that represent the “Land of the Free” U.S. of A., but also the beautiful state of Arkansas and my home here in the sand and gumbo of Mississippi County. I truly am lucky to live here.

I am thankful for a dog that loves me and isn’t afraid to show it. There is not a day go by that she doesn’t (ashamedly) give me more love than I give her. I’ll try to do better about that one.

Also, I am thankful for the many books that I have been blessed with. Books that feed my curiosity, transport me to places I haven’t yet seen and help improve who I am deep inside.

Quite simply, I am thankful to be alive and to be me!

About Tom Henry 133 Articles

My Biography

I have been fortunate to have held a number of very interesting and diverse jobs over the years. Those jobs have ranged from being a newspaper reporter (twice), restaurant and retail single unit store manager (numerous), restaurant multi-unit manager, a Christian bookstore manager, an online hospitality management recruiter and pastor. I have been used numerous times to turn troubled stores into profitable stores with double digit increases in sales and national top ten rankings (multiple times). God has gifted me with talents, experiences and spiritual gifting that allows me to get “right to the root of the problem” very quickly.

Additionally, I have three college degrees including a Master of Arts in history from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville.

I spend all of my non-work time with the sweetest woman I’ve ever met, Carol. Together we have four children (ranging in age from 19 to 25). She is without a doubt the answer to many years of fervent prayer. I have never been happier than I am now.

In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, traveling (especially to historic/civil war sites), learning, intellectual discussion and singing/deejaying. Carol and I live an hour north of Memphis and love to go “walking in Memphis, ten feet off of Beale”.

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