“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.” –Mr. Rogers

On a windy day recently, a very large limb broke off of one of our Bradford Pear trees and sprawled across our driveway. Within thirty minutes, two of our neighbors brought power saws, chopped up the limb, and hauled it away.

I’m thankful for our kind neighbors. Yes, nice people are everywhere. I’m thankful for the helpful teller at the bank who explained why the ATM swallowed my debit card without giving me money, the smiling checker at the grocery store, and those people I pass every day who brighten my day with a smile and kind words.

I really appreciate the skilled people at the Surgery Center who made me feel comfortable and calm while waiting for cataract surgery. And thanks, Dr. Marascalco, for your skillful hands—now, even without my glasses, I can see all my wrinkles when I look in the mirror. (Lol)

Thanks to our friends at Ellis Optical, Nancy, Terry, Jon Jon, and Sonny who fixed me up with new glasses.

I’m thankful to have found Biz and Ship on North Hills Street, where Joe Scott and his sons are always available when my laptop is driving me crazy, when my printer has problems, or when I have a stupid question to ask about the internet.

In the spring, C.J. showed up and insisted on planting my zinnias. Before I even told her about my achy knees, she told me that she just loves getting on her knees and planting flowers.

Each time I walk through the door of our Meridian - Lauderdale County Public Library, I’m grateful for that place and the people there. Last year, when I had a book signing, they were very accommodating.

I must mention MCC Dental Hygiene, with their professional dentist and skillful instructors, as well as the efficient students who clean my teeth.

I love the Prayer Place, with Chaplain Vicki and Betty and Robin, who know how to reach God with their prayers.

I’ve never met my Meridian Star carrier, but I am grateful for her consistent delivery; we never have occasion to report non-delivery, and even on rainy days the paper is double-wrapped and dry.

Thank you, Dave Bohrer, for letting me write for The Star. Oh, and thank you, my friend, Perrin, for sending me copies of my column—that’s just so thoughtful.

There are priceless friends, like the one who drove me to the Surgery Center, and the one who never forgets my birthday, my writing mentor. and the friend who always prays for me.

When scary things like cancer enter my world, there are wise doctors and caring medical people who carry me through. Thank you, Dr. Pupa, that on the day of my diagnosis (five years ago), you gave me hope, by reminding me that God has said, “For I know the thoughts and plans I have for you, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Thank you, Dr. Cassell—you are a “hope giver.” Thank you to all the helpful people who work at Meridian Oncology. Thank you, Dr. Rhonda Wilson, for taking good care of my health.

I’m grateful for the people in my church who surround me with love and prayers, and for my Pastor who reminds us every week that “All Things are Possible with God.”

There are so many caring people in my world.

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