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K. Lindsay Rakers
K. Lindsay Rakers
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Turkey isn't the only thing to be thankful for – but it shouldn't be forgotten

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I admitedly had a wonderful holiday weekend with my family. My partner's police officer work schedule requries her to miss quite a few holidays with us but this Thanksgiving, she had the entire weekend off. We had two fun celebrations with our families on Thursday and Saturday and ate, well, lots of turkey. As I sat on the warm couch with a very stuffed belly, I certainly didn't fail to realize just how luck I was in that moment. I was warm, I was full, I was watching my kids play safely. Obviously, not everyone is so lucky. I couldn't help but think of the less fortunate – perhaps with small children, nothing to eat and nowhere to go. The unfortunate state of our country is no doubt frustrating for most.

But the there are so many things we have to be thankful for – that is not lost on me. The medical field keeps making discovery after discovery and I know soon in my heart, we will have a cure for cancer. While the financial woes of the economy have no doubt placed a lot of strain on families, it also has brought many closer. This past week, Clayton Missouri became the third city in Missouri to make great strides regarding sexual orientation protection in 2011. Clayton voted to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance which prohibits discrimination based upon sexual orientation. Further, Clayton is working on a domestic partner registry which will allow same-sex couples to register with the state. These are great steps in the right direction. On a lighter note, the University of Illinois at Champain-Urbana finally fired football coach Ron Zook after another miserable season. While certainly not on the top of most people's "thankful" list – it made mine!

In all seriousness, we should all find the little things that enrich our lives – the little things that all add up to create our happiness this season.