I want to give some special significance to the wonderful holiday of Thanksgiving which seems to get more overlooked as the years go by. Halloween, although very grandiose, has become quite the event and just as soon as it is over, thoughts of the Christmas season are not too far behind. However, I have always felt that Thanksgiving is a time for faith, family, friends, food and football! In whatever way you are celebrating, there is much to be thankful for. We live with pride in a country that allows us to be free and as our forefathers who came together to share in their first Thanksgiving feast long, long ago, it is a time to truly celebrate what means most to us.

For me, I reflect on my many Thanksgivings going to my relative’s homes when I was much younger and eating way too much. Be that as it may, it is probably one of the few holidays that are set aside for us to reflect on how lucky we really are. We all have trials and tribulations that face us but the challenges make us stronger. Our faith should always be at the forefront of all that we do. Thanksgiving was my son, Connor Walsh’s favorite holiday. As a parent, my worst nightmare occurred when he unexpectedly passed away nearly 3 years ago. Although I am still saddened by the loss I feel each and every day, I am thankful that he was blessed to have lived for 23 glorious years. Tragedy puts things into perspective. What would my life have been without him! His initiative of giving back and paying it forward in his death made such a significant difference in the lives of others. Connor was an eye, tissue and organ donor and in this month of November, which celebrates that cause, I want to pay tribute to him and to the individuals who he touched with his ever-lasting gifts.

So, as you gather this holiday season, be thankful, be giving and perhaps start your own initiative so that your legacy can continue. Be thankful for time and the ability to wake up each and every day because the greatest gift we have is the gift of life. Be grateful because one moment can change your life forever. It certainly changed mine and now I continue to inform, inspire and educate others about organ donation. Consider being a donor, or volunteer your time to someone in need, give blood, write a long over-due letter, place a phone call to a person you haven’t spoken to in a long while, hug and spend time with your kids, reach out and touch someone who may be alone this holiday season by sharing and caring but most importantly remember a loved one. You will be glad you did.

May good health, good luck and peace be with you and your families and enjoy this most joyous holiday season together. God bless.

Alice Gorczycki