I have to be one of the most blessed people in the world. I come from a close family who loves me, nurtures me and has cared for me all my life. In fact, my parents will be celebrating their 54th Wedding Anniversary on November, 22nd. These days it's rare that a marriage lasts a year or two, much less 54 years. My folks met in high school. My mother was 15 and my dad 16. My mother claims that when she first saw my dad, she told her best friend, Mary, I'm going to marry that guy. And she did.

My parents showed me what a marriage was supposed to be, by loving each other passionately and with respect. I watched my father compliment my mother and tell her how much she was loved and appreciated. My mother supported my dad with his business and was there to listen when he needed. We learned how a man and woman should treat each other in a marriage.

Growing up, my parents supported whatever dreams me and my siblings had for our lives. They let us stretch our wings, and if we fell, they were there to pick us up. They made sure I had a spiritual foundation too. They were not afraid to make the tough decisions when it came to their children.

Now that I'm a parent, I see what a blessing and at times, sacrifice, to be a loving parent. It's not about being popular with your child, it's about being the parent. The older and so-called wiser I get, I also realize the importance of a solid family foundation. I feel strongly that you are molded, in those precious early years, into the kind of person that you will become. I thank God that I had that solid foundation, because I made some pretty bad choices and thank God, I had my family to lean on while I came back to my senses.

Thanksgiving is a time to stop and reflect on all the people and things you are thankful for. And I'm thankful for my parents who loved me, and still love me, with unconditional love and respect. If it were not for their guidance, I don't know where I would be.

This Thanksgiving, what are you thankful for?