On a warm, sunny day…no wait… make that a very hot week of band camp during the summer of 1984…I met a gorgeous college boy with dark hair and blue eyes and became absolutely smitten. Each day, the love-at-first-sight crush I had developed for this person, who just happened to be my assistant band director, only grew in intensity. Finally, on the last day, walking toward an asphalt practice field on the campus of Austin Peay State University with a drum strapped to my chest, I made a bold prediction to my friend Pennie…I’m going to marry him someday. One day, he would be mine. I was sure of it. Not even an hour later I listened as this darling man called my name from the roof of a building…TYLA HEATH, GET IN STEP!!! To make a long story, short – I married him anyway and my friend Pennie became my maid of honor. And after twenty-four years of thick and thin and ins and outs, I’m so very thankful that I did.
Good health is a wonderful thing to have and one of the things I think we take most for granted in life -that is, until we no longer have it or we find ourselves having to fight to retain it. I thank God that my family is healthy. I also pray that he restores it for a very dear friend of mine who is battling cancer for the third time.
As an educator, I am often afforded a front row seat in the lives of many students. If this profession has taught me one thing, it is that not all boys and girls grow up as I did. I am thankful for my parents. I am thankful that my parents put God first in our home and me next. I am thankful that they worked hard to provide for me and took an interest in my life, both socially and academically. I’m thankful there was always a hot meal on my table and clean clothes in my closet. I am thankful that through hard work and integrity on the part of my parents I never knew I had been poor until I was an adult. I could go on and on and provide countless evidence, but I won’t. I just hope my parents realize that every day of the week I am reminded of how good my childhood was and how grateful I am for that blessing.
I’m thankful that I was not an only child. Had I been, holidays just wouldn’t be as much fun without the extended family. I am so thankful for my sister and her family. I am thankful, though, that my sister was 16 when I was born. There are perks to being the baby in the family and being raised like an only child.
John Gunther wrote, “Ours is the only country deliberately founded on a good idea.” How true. On this Election Day, I am proud and thankful to live in this great nation. For now, at least, there’s not another like it on earth.
On this post-election day, when things didn’t exactly go the way I would have liked for them to go, I’m glad I once read Gone With the Wind. Its words come in handy from time to time… “Tomorrow is another day.”