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Press Release: Thanksgiving on September 27, 2005

Michael J. Corgnati

You must be wondering what is wrong with me; Thanksgiving is on the fourth Thursday of November. Well the truth is I had a dream that I actually was able to figure out what it meant. The dream told me I shouldn’t be celebrating just on the 24th of November but I should be celebrating it everyday.

I have been praying for a business deal to go through that would change my life and help me do some things that would make me feel like I was doing something good in the world. The truth is I have been experiencing a miracle each day for 143 days in a row. You would think that would be enough but no, I wanted more. I wanted to stop living in fear, I wanted to have a good nights sleep and I was only thinking of myself.

The dream took place in the house where I grew up. I arrived at my home driving a tractor (no explanation). I saw the front door open. I walked in to find a young guy robbing the house, I yelled he had one minute to get the hell out and he rushed to attack me. The fight woke me up. I laid there and wondered what this dream all about. The Holy Spirit gave me some much needed wisdom. I realized I had never been robbed in my life and suddenly the light bulb came on.

I had been concentrating so much on what I don’t have I was taking for granted what I do have. I started to play in my head the things I did and do have. I had two wonderful parents who loved me dearly. I have a brother who makes me proud of his work and what he has done in the world. I have a family who each time I return to Illinois make me feel like I had never left.

I can see (not as well as I used to), I can hear (also not as well as I used to), I have hair, (more gray than black) have good health (reasonably) but I do not stop to thank God for these incredible gifts. I live in a nice home and since I am a couple pounds overweight, I am getting enough to eat. I have a car, which although not new, gets me from one place to another. I have not had my home, or all I hold dear to me, washed away from a hurricane. I have not had get on a bus and to go to a new place, only to find there is another hurricane coming and I must move again. I have never been without water or food for days at a time. I wept when I saw the pictures on TV, but never thought to say, “Thanks You God” for the things I do have.

I work with a lady, Marlene Elias who was a friend of Mother Teresa. She is a blessing. I feel I almost know Mother with all the materials I have read, the tapes of her conversations, and the letters she has written. I am privileged to work in bring tributes to Mother Teresa to people all over the world. I have gotten enough smarts now to know, if given the opportunity to make a choice of spend an hour with either Mother Teresa or Donald Trump, I could answer, “Mother Teresa!” in two seconds. I have enough smarts now to realize the one with the least can have the most. Money doesn’t buy happiness (but I would like to confirm this first hand). And the race does not go to the swiftest, but to the one who will not quit.

I realize now that what people think of us is sometimes much different than we imagine. I remember going to see my CPA, and during a luncheon feeling like he thought I was a fool for pursuing a dream for so long. He surprised me by saying he admired my determination and he could not do what I was doing. It never occurred to me that he felt this way.

I made two lists. One was a list of the things for which I have to be thankful. The other, a list of the things that I did not have. I was pleasantly surprised, when I found that the “to be grateful for” list far outnumbered the “don’t have” list.

Garth Brooks wrote a song “Unanswered Prayers” and the hook line is “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”. I experienced this first hand. The song tell of a man losing the woman of his dreams. Then, meeting her many years later, he realized God had done him a favor. The woman he did marry was a blessing. The next time you think that God is not giving you what you want; God may be giving you what you need.

Join me in thanking God for the sun, the moon, the flowers, the birds, the trees, the animals, songs, family, good friends, the feeling of praying and loving God and the feeling when it comes back to you so that your whole body tingles. The feeling that comes when you reach out to someone who needs you and realizing you were there to help someone. I want to thank God for sending His only Son, Jesus to die on the cross, so I could get to heaven…there is no greater gift.

Let each of us be thankful everyday for the blessings God has given us. Happy Thanksgiving this September 27, 2005