Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To Give Thanks – A Special Message From Peter Thomas Senese

Today is a day when each of us is expected to reflect upon the things in our life we are thankful for. Over the course of my own life, I am exceptionally grateful that I have come to learn how to find the magic and wonderment that exists in each and every day no matter what circumstances I face. So in this respect, today I celebrate Thanksgiving for the 299th day this year. The following are some of the things I am most grateful for:

1. I am most thankful that my son is safe, happy, able to freely express himself, excelling in all things he is interested in, and capable of seeing all the magic that life has to offer without impediment. As a father who desires only the best things in life for my child, I am deeply satisfied with the richness of my son’s life. And I am thankful.

2. I am thankful that the time that I was Chasing The Cyclone of international abduction is over. Sometimes, I am not exactly sure how these horrific storms were navigated, but they were. Today, the dark clouds that loomed over our heads have been replaced by the golden sunshine of peace. And I am thankful.

3. I am thankful to have such a close-knit, loving family that truly enjoys being with one another. I have been particularly blessed with loving and wise parents who are demonstrative of their love for their children and grandchildren, siblings who are as deeply attached to one another as any brothers or sisters could be, and the most amazing 95 year-old grandmother, who, till this day is as active and vibrant as a person decades her younger. And I am extremely thankful that each day, no matter where in the world I am, my most amazing grandmother is a part of my daily life.

4. I have been blessed to find my true love, my partner, and my companion, with whom I share everything without obstruction. My life is rich, full, exciting, balanced, and possesses more meaning than I have ever known because she is in my life. And I am thankful.

5. Though there was a period in my life when I did not know why the storms of child abduction descended upon our life, I am extremely thankful that I was given the strength to never stop starring down those storms: by doing so, my child is safe and at home. There is a big ‘In Addition’ – I am deeply satisfied and thankful that my experiences have and may continue to assist other children and their parents who may one day have to face these storms. God willing, the work I am involved with will continue to help other families – perhaps even bringing an elevation in understanding that will cause a variety of changes all in the name of protecting our innocence children. And I am thankful to be, in my own small way, in a position to participate in evoking this type of change.

6. I am thankful to have wonderful, caring, and loyal friends in my life. Indeed, our friendships are the raindrops that nourish and enrich our human experience. I have been blessed in many long-lasting, true friendship, and I am thankful for such a wonderful blessing.

7. I am thankful that after an ongoing battle with a degenerative cancer-causing disease that at times created even more difficult challenges than simply fighting to live, my body and its genetic composition are free of the malignant strands that caused unwanted hurt. Today, my body is strong and nearly as healthy as when I was a young man in college. I have conquered my cancer fights, and I am thankful.

8. I thankful and proud of being an American citizen. There literally never is a day that goes by that I am not in awe of our great nation despite many of our nation’s challenges. I have never lost insight into President George Washington’s words the night of his inauguration on Wall Street’s Federal Hall: “that liberty was an ongoing experiment entrusted to the American people”. President Washington’s key words being, “ongoing experiment”, and I am thankful to have an opportunity to be a part of this experiment through my activism in advocating for new child abduction prevention laws that will protect our nation’s children.

9. As a young adult, I attended an amazing high school in beautiful Brooklyn, New York called Edward R. Murrow. As a group of young adults drawn from nearly every conceivable background, many of us were given one lesson that till this day I hold closest to my heart and is one of the cornerstones of who I am: the lesson of the importance of celebrating our differences. Since this time, and over the years, I have never let go of this principle, and because of this, I have lived a very fortunate life. I am thankful that at an early age, both my teachers and my friends as a young adult taught me how to see.

10. And I am so thankful that the tomorrows of my life, though they may be challenging at times, are filled with hope, curiosity, and a sense of being part of something much bigger than myself.

So, in a nutshell, this is my heart, my spirit, and my vitality. I wish to all a most Happy Thanksgiving … today, and tomorrow.