Dec 042009
Authors: Anne Marie Merline

I do believe that Thanksgiving should take place everyday. Don’t get me wrong … I don’t like turkey, I don’t like formal dinners, and I don’t like being with hordes of people everyday.

Thanksgiving should be a state of mind and not a national holiday, though I love getting a week off during the semester.

I must admit, since I have been middle-aged, I spend a lot of time being thankful and taking the time to let people know how much I appreciate the role that they play in my life. It is a fact that I would not be able to live my life on my own.

I get sick and I need help. I need help taking care of my son, Benjamin. I get emotionally needy, and I need the support from friends to help me to see the light. We all need. We all need to give thanks for this reciprocity that we receive from friends and family.

I am thankful for many things on this campus. I am thankful that this campus exists. I am thankful for the job that I have. Teaching has to be the most rewarding career that anyone can have.

I am thankful that my boss is willing to work with me. I am thankful that I work in an office full of witty and intelligent people who are always willing to talk and joke around with me. I am thankful that I have wonderful students who allow me guide them through part of their educational careers.

My students energize me every time that I step into the classroom. I am thankful that I have students who become my friends and neighbors. So many students help me in my personal life and personal growth. I am thankful that my students allow me to be part of their lives, in times of joy as well as in times of need.

Off of campus, I am thankful for my great parents and my brothers who are always on the phone with me from 2,000 miles away, sharing their lives. I am also in awe of my extended family that I got to see in October, as my second cousin, Sarah, got married.

I am grateful for Facebook, which has allowed me to make meaningful connections with family and friends who live far away. I’ve had some of the most meaningful discussions with my second (and favorite) cousin Kevin this past weekend. I am thankful that he shares his life and his concern for my well being.

Here in Fort Collins, my friends have become my pillars of support and love. Michelle takes in my son constantly. Leslie surprises me with tokens of friendship for no reason at all. Carrie helps me at a moment’s notice. Mae and David are my go-to’s for the tough stuff. Kathleen and Greg constantly offer play dates for our sons.

Friends and neighbors shovel my driveway and the sidewalk without me asking.

To top this off, I am blessed with a son who is every mother’s dream. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how lucky I am to have him as the biggest part of my life.

All of these people are fostered by the community in which we live. In the past 17 years that I have lived here, I have witnessed the best expressions of the idea of community. Government, business owners, developers and individuals do their best to make Fort Collins a wonderful place to live.

This time of year is the best time to reflect on our thankfulness. This year, take it one step further and tell those in your life for whom you are thankful that you are.

Tell them and show them with a hug, a kiss, a phone call or a card. Nothing is more important than showing gratitude to the people in our lives. Thank you for being a part of my community.

Anne Marie Merline is an instructor for the University Honors Program. Her column appears biweekly Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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