Giving Thanks Text Size

I love this time of year. For me, it’s a time when I can slow down a bit and reflect, and to take note of life’s many blessings. All year round, I am grateful for many things in my life. But sometimes, as we all know, day-to-day living can be hectic; in the midst of our daily work and responsibilities, we can forget to recognize our lives as a gift to be cherished, instead of a mere list of tasks to be accomplished. And in my job, I spend so much time thinking about how to shape the future that I can forget to celebrate what’s right in front of me. Allow me to do that now.

This Thursday, I will be spending Thanksgiving with friends and family. I know this may sound cliché coming from a politician, but I really couldn’t do what I do without them. They have supported me every step of the way, and their unconditional love has been a constant source of strength and comfort. We will spend Thanksgiving eating (quite a lot) and playing games, like we always do. The older I get, the more these family traditions mean to me, and the more grateful I am for the resilient, decent lives my mom and dad have led.

My family is not the only source of gratitude in my life, though. I also admire all of the staff here at City Hall. These folks keep our government running. More importantly, they make life a little better for the residents of Holyoke. Through small acts of bureaucratic kindness—whether resolving constituents’ problems, or listening attentively to people’s concerns—the staff here at City Hall send a clear message about what our government is for. Meanwhile, department heads are always coming with new ideas for how our government can be more effective. And of course Jay and Papo, our custodial staff, make sure our buildings are cleaned and maintained—an invaluable gift to all of us who work here.

And, of course, I am eternally grateful to the people of Holyoke—not only for allowing me to serve as mayor, but for the hard work they do each and every day to make our city a better place. Being the mayor is often a difficult job. Sometimes I don’t feel like I am accomplishing as much I’d like to accomplish. But I always take heart in knowing that the future of Holyoke is in the hands of its people—people who are passionate, driven, large-hearted, and generous with their time and energy. With people like this living and working in our city, how can I not be grateful? They inspire me each day, and they are the source of my abiding faith in Holyoke’s limitless possibilities.

These are some of the gifts that enrich my life—and there are many more. I am looking forward to a Thanksgiving spent in thankful contemplation of all that life has afforded us, and of all the good things that are still to come. I hope you all have a lovely holiday, and that you find many opportunities to speak those most important of words: Thank you.

Posted on November 26, 2014 by