What I’m Thankful For

By Laura Edwards

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I have a few minutes of downtime before we head over to my in-laws’ for three of my favorite things: food, football and fellowship. This morning, I ran in my second straight Turkey Trot 8K to kick off the holiday season and relieve myself of some of the guilt I’d otherwise feel later today. As I trotted 4.96 miles with 6,000 other runners on the SouthPark streets, I had some time to think about what I’m thankful for today:

  • The walkers (5K) and runners (8K) who sported their Taylor’s Tale t-shirts and logged miles this morning in support of our mission, including Sharon King, John Edwards, Debbie Carney, Joanna Ashworth, the Hines family, Sally and Ward Davis and Alyson Wheelahan.
  • The opportunity to spend time with my family this past Sunday and my husband’s family today.
  • The health of those of my loved ones who are healthy and the power of hope for those of my loved ones who are not.
  • Carolina basketball.
  • My love for football and its ability to help me enjoy watching the Panthers play – even this season.
  • A good job and a nice house – isn’t that the American Dream?
  • My friends who have stuck with me even on my darkest days; when I cannot walk, they carry me.
  • Tears. Sometimes, they are necessary.
  • A bookshelf full of tales by others waiting to be read and a blank screen on which to write my own.
  • My brother. Stephen – growing up, I never thought in a million years that we would become so close. I am so proud of you.
  • Nintendo Wii. It has an uncanny ability to help me feel like a kid again – which is a good thing.
  • Music. Words are the language of our hearts; music is the language of our soul.
  • A still-young marriage that has withstood family tragedy after family tragedy.
  • My dog. There’s nothing like a snuggle session with a furry, cuddly animal that loves you after you’ve had a bad day.
  • The sunrise.
  • The sunset.
  • The ocean. Though I don’t get to see it as much as I’d like, when I do, it has a powerful and lasting effect on me.
  • The mountains. Just last weekend, I left Charlotte behind to hike among towering trees, rushing waterfalls and autumn-draped trails. There is a whole world out there to enjoy – the playground God gave us.
  • The opportunity to take my sister to the Miley Cyrus concert on Tuesday night. The progression of the disease is overwhelming these days, but she still smiled and clapped her hands and recognized her favorite songs. Which leads me to…
  • Laughter and smiles. Even if the feeling I have inside doesn’t always match, I still try to laugh and smile – like T would.
  • Talented scientists who devote even a part of their days to finding a cure for Batten disease.
  • All those who helped make Taylor’s Tale possible – and all those whose gifts have helped us contribute to historic research.
  • Rainbows.
  • Memories. If my house burned down and I lost all the material things I own, I would still have my memories.
  • The future. Tomorrow is another day. The path before us is unknown, but our faith – if we can keep it – will light the way.
  • The word “believe.”
Be thankful for this day. It is a gift.

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