To Be Thankful

written by Deborah Anne Ramos

Our thoughts are likely to be varied as we gather to give thanks. What we give thanks for is similarly varied. The overarching sentiment, though, is to count our blessings. How many, how few, will depend upon the person. Are they giving thanks for their material possessions, or are they giving thanks on a more “spiritual” level? When Sister Janice assigned this topic for class, my classmates and I wondered what we are going to write about. Sister was sure we wouldn’t have much of a problem with the topic of Thanksgiving. Yes, it was the beginning of the school year and we had five weeks to gather our thoughts and fashion them into a cogent, thought-provoking composition. Her only advice was, “write what you know.

I decided to write about “Counting Our Blessings“. I asked mom what were her blessings. I asked dad what were his blessings. And, I asked Elizabeth what were her blessings. Mom and dad, both, easily answered that Elizabeth and I were their blessings to have two, beautiful daughters. We were intelligent and gifted, that we would be able to do whatever we set our minds to do. While the compliment was very flattering, to say the least, beyond that, I asked what were their true blessings. Tears welled in mom’s eyes. Dad spoke softly about how loss shapes us into becoming better individuals. I didn’t press my question any further. I asked Elizabeth what were her blessings. She said, “A cool sister, some nice friends. Most of all, mom and dad.” I asked my sis what were her true blessings. She struggled with the question, before finally answering, “You know, I miss her with all my heart. And, I know you miss her as much. Mom and dad, they miss her most of all.” I had narrowed my topic from a broad, unwieldy one to a more defined one of “Blessings Lost and Unseen“.

“lighting our way”


If you know my family, we are not defined, or known, by what we have or what we have accomplished. We are defined by which our character and strength, and our faith, are tested. Having lost can be a blessing itself. It enriches life, and makes one stronger. Our faith and trust in God allows us to count the blessings bestowed upon us, and to help shoulder our hurts and burdens.

As we gather to give thanks, we remember our missing family, our missing friends, at our table. We remember them with moist eyes, but, most of all, we remember them from the heart.


About this article

This post was originally written for a requirement in a composition course at Machebeuf Catholic High School in 2010. While the paper was required to be at least 5 pages in length, Deborah’s text, which you see above, was not quite a page and a half (double-spaced). Though her grade for the assignment could have been easily docked, Deborah received an “A”.


About the author

Deborah Anne Ramos is a fourth-year senior attending the University of Colorado. Her degree studies is in the field of biology, specifically animal science. She graduated with highest honors from Machebeuf Catholic High School in Denver in 2012.

She is a highly decorated equestrian with the Rustler Riding Club, earning Horse of the Year and Rider of the Year awards. Additionally, she has won multiple blue ribbons, and other placement ribbons, with Comet, Captain Andrew Evan Stedman and Secret Agent Man.


2 thoughts on “To Be Thankful

  1. Beautifully said and a wonderful reminder that we need to be thankful for everything we have and all we have to give.

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