“It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.”

Author Unknown —

Inspirational quotes are flooding my social media: Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — it is a thought-provoking time of year.

My daughter called this week — crying. She is grateful for her family and friends but wondered if she was giving enough?  She is very empathetic and compassionate — I reminded her that we tend to rethink our life during this family gathering season.

Here are my thoughts and recollections:

Almost a year ago my mom passed and we have been helping dad with the grief. We know he will always be missing his wife of 56 years. But he is doing well — very social despite some knee pain — 60 years of working on concrete as a mechanic will do that to your joints. This year he is going to a family reunion in PA and we are going to SC to see my son and family. He was invited to go away with us but decided to enjoy his cousins, nieces and nephews this year.

We have watched the news and waited for our military children to come home from deployment. And they have. They are safe in the homeland.

Children have graduated college, won awards and certifications and began careers. Our first wedding engagement for one of our daughters was announced — a wedding is in the works.

Our businesses are growing responsibly with a move to a bigger space providing more professional jobs available in Manassas.

I continue to work on improving the community. My schedule is busy with river clean ups, working with our youth, helping to plan a charity run and the Flags for Heroes display. I am on several boards.  I serve on the Manassas City Public School Education Foundation, the Career Technical Education Advisory Board, the Airport Commission, President of the Inter-Service Club Council (ISCC) and iPast President of the Bull Run Rotary Club.

I am thankful for the opportunity to lead and participate with these amazing groups of people in our City of Manassas.  As I plan the ISCC Annual Volunteer of the Year Award Ceremony for Jan. 18th, all the members are excited to celebrate the spirit of the community.  My dear friend, Dr. Renee Jackson Anderson will be the guest speaker. As a native of Manassas, she is now the head collector for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, the hottest ticket in DC.  Renee is the first person I met when I moved to Manassas more than 30 years ago and we immediately became close friends. We share a passion for history, culture, the arts and a good time.  My children and I understand the value of having Renee as a mentor and friend.  We are thankful for her in our life!

So as the big Thanksgiving meal approaches, consider opening a place at your table for someone in need or alone and as the turkey, pumpkin pie and many goodies are prepared: “Eat, Drink and Wear Stretchy Pants.”