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The Awakening

The woman’s voice was distant yet urgent, “Ken, can you hear me?”

I opened my eyes slowly.

Harsh light. Haze.

“Can you feel the pin pricks on your feet?”

I struggled to lift my head.

“Do you know who this lady is?”

My gaze locked onto a familiar face, her eyes red, tangible fear painted across her features.

I nodded.

“What is her name?”

“It’s Gwen. My wife.”

I had been in a drug induced coma for 24 hours.

Waking 6 desperate hours after they expected.

I’m told I fought the ventilator tube soon after waking. Apparently, that is a good sign.

I returned from “vacation” with a fresh and tender scar in the middle of my chest.

The “widow maker” is the unofficial term for the lower anterior descending artery that was bypassed.

Against overwhelming odds, on May 18, 2013, I got another chance at living.

On this, my 10th “bonus” Thanksgiving, I’d like to share some thoughts about gratitude and being thankful.

On Being Thankful

The dining table will be extended this Thanksgiving.

We will be shoulder to shoulder with extended family and new friends.

Traditions will be continued and created.

I am thankful for the abundance in my life.

I am thankful for the ability to complete a long career and have a new one.

I am thankful for the warmth of a dry and secure home.

I am thankful for the gifts of life experiences. Including my near-death experience. Maybe especially my near-death experience.

I am thankful for the ability to share and create new experiences.

On Being Grateful

I am simply grateful for being.

For being myself, a work-in-progress.

I am grateful for those that share their brilliant and simple acts of “being human”.

I deeply appreciate the opportunity to continue my journey and be with others on their journey.

I am grateful for the experiences of every day. The pleasant and the unpleasant.

I am grateful for the possibility to create and impact the future for the sake of my family and my communities.

I hope they will flourish with the sense of abundance and presence I feel today.

I am grateful for love. The power of love. The choice to love and be loved.

On Grace

On Thanksgiving Thursday everyone will have the opportunity to ask for blessings and give thanks.

Several spiritual traditions will be present. All will be cherished.

Most will know my favorite dinner blessing.

“To be. To be here. To be here with you.”

On Thanksgiving

As we gather around the table this Thanksgiving, surrounded by laughter and warmth, let’s pause and reflect on the journey that has brought us here.

Each of us carries our own scars, stories of trials and triumphs, moments where life hung in the balance.

Yet, here we are, together, a testament to resilience and the enduring power of love and community.

Life is a precious, fleeting gift.

Let’s hold onto the lessons learned from our darkest times, allowing them to illuminate our path forward.

Let’s commit to making every day a Thanksgiving.

To approach each morning with a sense of wonder, each challenge with courage, and each interaction with kindness and compassion.

May we continue to be sources of strength and love for each other, and may our lives be filled with grace and gratitude, not just today, but every day.

To be here, to be alive, to be with each other – that is a blessing beyond measure.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Ken Roseboom

Ken Roseboom is the President of Thinking Partners. He partners with leaders to increase impact, create aligned teams, and deliver better results. He leverages the Alignment process, assessment tools, expert coaching, and years of front line leadership experience to support his clients.