By Representative Craig Ford
This week we celebrate Thanksgiving, and, in my opinion, it could not come soon enough.
This year has been filled with political fights, Hurricane Sandy, and a scandal involving the head of the CIA. With all of that, it can be easy to get consumed with the bad and forget all the good we have in our lives.
So it is good that we have this week to stop and think about all that we have been blessed with and be thankful for it.
I know that I have been truly blessed this year.
First, I am thankful for my health. Earlier this year, my retina detached and I had to have emergency surgery to repair it. I could have lost my vision in that eye, but the surgery went well and I have recovered.
I am also thankful for my family and friends. God has blessed me with a beautiful wife, two amazing kids, and surrounded me with great friends who have enriched my life in ways they may never know.
I am thankful to live in America and for the freedom we have here. To live in a country where we can choose our leaders, speak our minds, and worship God as we see fit without fear of persecution is a blessing that many people in other countries do not have.
I am thankful for the men and women who serve in our military and for the sacrifices they have made to protect our country and our freedom. Also, I am thankful to their families who share in their sacrifice.
I am especially thankful to be able to represent the people of Etowah County in the Alabama House of Representatives. Being an elected official is a privilege and a responsibility. The people have put their trust in you and asked you to be their voice in government. It is an honor to serve, and I am thankful that the people of House District 28 have given me this opportunity to serve.
I am thankful for the success I have had in business and for all of my employees who have worked so hard to make that success possible. Business can be stressful and demand a lot of your time. But when you have good people working for you who go above and beyond the call of duty, it makes life a lot easier. I am thankful for the people I work with and for all of their hard work.
I am also thankful for our public servants – law enforcement officers and firefighters who are willing to risk their lives to keep us safe, educators who devote their live to teaching our children and preparing the next generation to lead our country, and state employees who work hard every day to provide our state with the services that we depend on, such as maintaining our roads and bridges and providing clean drinking water.
But most of all, I am thankful for our merciful God who forgives sins and has blessed my life so richly. I am thankful that God has stood by me in the good times and the bad times, and I am thankful for all that he has blessed me with.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
I hope that in between the turkey and football, we will all take a few moments to reflect on the blessings we have been given and be thankful.
Representative Craig Ford is a Democrat from Gadsden. He has served in the Alabama House of Representatives since 2000. In 2010, Representative Ford was elected House Minority Leader by the House Democratic Caucus. He was re-elected Minority Leader in 2012.