Thursday, November 24, 2011
Thankful for a lot
Thanksgiving for year 2011 has really gotten here quickly.
For me, it seems likes yesterday we were ringing in the new year.
As with any Thanksgiving, I have lots to be thankful for.
I’m thankful for my family.
I’m thankful Emma is so very happy at the University of Southern Mississippi.
She left a small school, Marshall Academy, and a small town, Holly Springs, to further her education in a bigger place where she knew basically no one.
Yet, she’s charted her own path, made a host of new friends and gotten really involved in her school, USM. And perhaps most importantly, she’s making good grades.
Sunday afternoon, as Pam was moving some things to a “hope chest” for Emma, she found a newspaper clipping with a photo of Emma just after her birth.
Time flies, but my oldest daughter continues to make me proud.
I’m thankful Andy decided to play high school football his senior year. He had not played since peewees, and really had not even thought about it.
But assistant coaches Gary Hickman and Keith Owens talked him into it, and about 18 weeks later, he is a member of one of the winningest teams in MA history.
Friday night’s loss in the north half title game was sad, but when looking over the season’s accomplishments, the tears do not last long.
Even more so than the 11-2 season, I’m so happy Andy got to spend late July through mid-November with his fellow seniors and long-time friends on the football team.
He has built memories that will last him a lifetime.
I’m also thankful that my mother, who turned 81 earlier this month, was able to come to three of Andy’s games this football season.
She even made the two-hour drive to Holly Springs from Hamilton, Ala., once herself and sat out for the entire game on a cold night.
It made a special season even more special for Andy.
Before interviewing head coach Barrett Donahoe Friday night after the game, I told him, “First, I want to thank you for what you’ve done for Andy. It’s been great for him – being a part of this team.”
I’m thankful to have just turned 50 in August and still be coaching one of my children in youth sports.
The grand reason for that is our late-in-life, surprise child Erin. A couple of weeks ago Paul McKinney and I began practicing our third- and fourth-grade girls basketball team.
I tried to find ways to get out of it – like I’m too busy and Andy is a senior and I do not want to miss any of his basketball games.
But as usual, no one had to hogtie me to get me to do it. I do it because I love it.
There’s not much better after a stressful day at the office than to go to the gym and see a bunch of cheerful 9- and 10-year-olds eager to learn and have fun.
Coaching youth sports has always been something that is dear to my heart. I was a part of it when Emma and Andy were little, and now the tradition continues.
I’m thankful for a loving wife who has stood strong in a tough year with the loss of her mother.
Wives and mothers never get enough credit for all they do, and that’s a lot. They’re too often taken for granted.
From the Burlesons to your family, have a happy Thanksgiving.
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