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Being Thankful

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    Award winning Eatonton author Andrea Cassell and Kibby share their thankfulness even through a tough 2020 beseiged with COVID-19. CONTRIBUTED

Every day I feel thankful. I don’t define thankfulness by the things I have. Relationships are more important to me than possessions or success.

I have experienced lots of ups and downs in my life. They all made me thankful. Without the hard and difficult times, you can’t appreciate the good times. I’m thankful for it all!

Thanksgiving is near the end of the year. It’s a great reminder to reflect on your year’s journey of ups and downs. Some things we can’t control. It’s hard to be thankful for the hardships.

My journey as an award-winning author hasn’t been easy. In fact, nothing I have done has been easy. I’m still thankful for the hard road I had to walk. It made me wiser and humble. I taught special education for over 30 years. It wasn’t an easy job. It made me thankful I had the love and patience to help parents and children. I am a cookbook author. I wanted

I am a cookbook author. I wanted to pass down healthy recipes to my family, friends and children. It was hard work. The cookbook was dedicated to my 101 year old grandmother. She taught me about sharing the love of cooking with my hands. Nahima’s hands unique Mediterranean cookbook has been such a blessing. I feel thankful for the opportunity to share our recipes with others.

Currently, I’m a children’s book author with all three of my books winning the global gold mom’s choice award. I feel honored and thankful that my books can make a difference in children’s lives. My dog, Kibby has inspired me to help children learn life lessons as seen through a dog’s eyes.

I hope to inspire children to have a love for reading as I do. Kibby the space dog, teaches children not to judge others for the way they look. Kibby gets a little sister, teaches children how to get along with siblings and share. Kibby and Olive move to Georgia and they teach children about moving and dealing with change.

My latest book was released July 2020. Releasing a book during COVID has been a struggle.

Signings, school appearances and readings were cancelled. I’m so grateful and thankful to the newspaper and news media for all the press and getting the word out about my award-winning book series.

They have given me so much and I will be forever grateful and thankful for their support. It’s not about winning awards or being a bestselling author. It’s about the people in my life that give me a thankful heart.

We are more likely to feel gratitude even in tough times, than not. The negativity around us brings positivity back into focus and we feel blessed for the small things. We don’t take things for granted.

I am thankful for my wonderful husband, dog, Kibby, 92 and 88 year old parents, four children with spouses and grandchildren I haven’t seen in over a year, due to COVID. I’m thankful we are able to talk, zoom, and FaceTime. Thank you technology.

We all need to spread small acts of kindness daily. Send a letter, card email or just call.

Kindness circles back around and brings a sense of gratitude for what we can do to make a difference. Being grateful for the chance to help others is a gift you give to yourself.

Thanksgiving is just one day. We need to give thanks daily as it enriches our lives.

Thank you to all those who continue to lift me up. My heart is filled with thankfulness. There’s always something to be thankful for. I hope you bring thankfulness into someone else’s life.

My heart is filled with thankfulness!

(Andrea is a three time Mom’s Choice® Gold Award Winner and author of Kibby Children’s Books; “Life Lessons Through a Dog’s Eyes”)