By Lloyd Graff

As we head into Thanksgiving, I am using the blog to express a few of the many many things and people I am thankful for today.

I am thankful for breath. Every day I thank God for the ability to breathe deeply. As someone who spent 13 straight days on a ventilator in a hospital, I take note of my ability to breathe each day.

A deep breath is also my way of taking pause amidst turmoil to get my bearings. It is a way to find some peace and prepare for sleep.


I am thankful for my family. My wife Risa is the love of my life after 46 years of marriage. To feel joy when I greet her in the evening and touch her hand in the morning, who could ask for more.

My three children have happy and successful lives and good health. They connect with me often and seem to enjoy being with me as adults.

My four grandchildren seem healthy and happy. And the three older girls like baseball.


I live in the United States, which is like winning the lottery to most of the six billion people on the planet. The country is an always evolving experiment with a million competing interests, but it has afforded me opportunity and freedom that I treasure, particularly knowing the history of my family coming from Russia 100 years ago.


I am grateful for the handful of pills I take every morning and night. Aspirin, Omega 3, lisonopril for blood pressure control, statin for cholesterol, ACE Inhibitor for my heart, serotonin regulator for moods, and omeprazole for stomach acid. It is a panoply of the medicines that have taken billions of dollars to perfect. They help me live a normal life in my seventies after nearly dying eight years ago.


I am grateful for my mind. I get to create and connect with people. I understand nuance, I can play Words With Friends, and even understand some baseball analytics. I still relish the competition in business. So far dementia is just a word for me.


I have my appetite. I love a well-baked chocolate chip cookie and poppy seed salad dressing. I enjoy the smell of Arbequina olive oil and I can distinguish it from Colavita. A Honeycrisp apple delights me, as does ice cold lemonade. The smell of a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving with homemade whipped cream. Wow.


I am grateful you have read this blog to the end. I get to do this.

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15 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. David

    You’re the greatest, Lloyd. I almost always find myself smiling after reading what you have to say. Keep the blogs coming and I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving.

  2. Lloyd Graff

    John, I could have mentioned the Cubbies but in the grand scheme of things they don’t rate with breath and family. Now if I wrote a little longer piece…

    1. Mike Harlan

      Yes, but aren’t they the best example this year that miracles really do happen and dreams, even ones that seem fantastic, can sometimes come true? 🙂

  3. Sal

    I could not have said better myself. I to have been married for 46 yrs., have 4 Grandkids and 3 adult Daughters who love spending time with us. What more could one man ask for.
    Lloyd I hope you and family have Blessed Thanksgiving.

  4. Art Santana

    Spot on the comment about wining the lottery. That is how I feel every day. And I do not need the millions to have the happiness that I know I live in America, the land of plenty and the chosen land for sure.
    It is my daily prayer that more people see what I see and less people whine and complain about it. But isn’t it that what really makes it so great? Freedom of choice. Where else do you have it like us here? nowhere.
    Happy thanksgiving everyone; now more than ever.

  5. Betty

    Dear Lloyd,
    You are like a wise old uncle and I always enjoy reading what you have to share with us.
    I also feel very blessed for my husband of 34 years, my three daughters, my four grandsons and this beautiful country that has offered us so many opportunities!
    Thank you for bringing it all down to life’s most simple and precious gift, of breath itself.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  6. Ed B

    Lloyd; As usual you hit a homerun with your column. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.. We all have a lot to be grateful and thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  7. John Van Der Laar

    Exactly. You don’t have to do this, you get to do this…, and you’re pretty good at it, too!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. David Bradley

    After reading Lloyd’s writing today, all I can say is “you shoulda been a machinery salesman.”

  9. rick

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It gives us pause to reflect and remember how lucky and blessed we all are.
    I am thankful of course for my family and friends.
    I am thankful to be living in this Great Country of ours.
    As Ronald Wilson Reagan stated:
    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
    I am thankful that the fine people chose not cronyism and corruption, but to drain the swamp.
    I look forward to robust manufacturing industries back in these United States of America!
    May God bless you all, and may you stay safe in your travels, and as you reflect on the blessings of liberty with your family and friends this wonderful truly American holiday weekend.


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