The first thing I am thankful for in life is for having a great mother. Sometimes it’s hard to notice what is obviously good in your life. It takes reflection, a life moment, or a brush with death to really see what one has in life that is worth being thankful for. The second thing I am thankful for is for being allowed to be a brother to all my sisters. I am truly lucky to be around a distinct group of characters, whose strengths and frailties make them more human than most people I know. It is an honor to wake up and realize that a family interaction, however small it may be, is coming, and that it just may have another source of concentrated joy. The third thing I am thankful for are my close friends, those that add good meaning to life, and that in spite of our personal histories, we have been there for each other and have shown care, acceptance, loyalty, truth, love, empathy, forgiveness, and thoughtfulness. This makes them like part of my immediate family. I am happy to be alive, knowing that a least a few times before, I should have been dead. Thank those atoms in the sky that carried the shots of life-giving wind. I am thankful for the very things I have and don’t have. I am thankful to be single when I could have been married. But I do want to find the right woman to get to know for the rest of my life. I am thankful for the joys and the pains that made depth of feelings evident in life. I am thankful for the balanced and the extreme that show how much life can stretch the heart and carry the mind to wondrous vortices of joyous, peaceful, and wholesome imagination. I am thankful for the space between the lines, that at times speak volumes in soft voices. I am thankful for the scars and wrinkles that beckons a story to be told. Life is good even when darkness engulfs our gates of hopes. Life is good because we never pay for an ounce of air, and yet, our hearts keep pumping through bliss or bleak moments, day in and day out. I am thankful for the color on my skin, even when others think there is something wrong with it. I am thankful for Shabbat, because ceasing to pause from the bustles of life is a gift.