Editor’s note: Buckhannon Mayor David McCauley delivered this statement at the Nov. 15, 2018 city council meeting.
With Thanksgiving now being but a few days off, I am thankful for my family and many friends. Thursday morning, I’ll drive to my ole hometown of Wheeling and celebrate the holiday with my mom and sisters.
It’ll be the first Thanksgiving without my dad, who always was perched at the patriarch position at the end of the big table in front of the bay window in my folks’ dining room. Everyone in my family misses my dad terribly.
We all know many folks who’ve lost someone recently, and we’re there with each of you as you proceed on in your lives without your loved ones. We’re there with Mary Albaugh, who’ll be without Tommy’s physical presence, and we’re there with Dawn Arnold who’ll have a big meal with her family without her dad. We’re with Judy Knorr & her kids who won’t have Jim. We’re thinking about the Kimble family without Jerry, the Johns’ family without Howard, the Seech family without Garret, & the list goes on & on.
We who have lost loved ones recently go through what I call first-time-itis, that especially tough first of everything without your loved ones, holidays, birthdays, vacations — I choose to think- as a guy who’s perhaps not as religious as many of my friends- that our loved ones’ spirits are still with us, as I find myself comforted by that belief.
We’re thinking about our friends who are battling illness this Thanksgiving- close friends like Tappan Squires, Roy Pettit, Larry Brown and so many others. We’re very mindful of those who protect us, the members of our armed forces who can’t be with their families. We thank every person who is serving or who has ever served our great nation.
And yes- some of us are acutely aware of others who can’t be with us this holiday season- who are incarcerated, residing in nursing homes, or otherwise institutionalized. We pray for all lost and challenged souls.
I’m thankful for this body of people on our City Council who I know are each committed to improving our community, to moving us forward, to making this very special place even better for everyone who lives here. I am so very thankful for our amazing, excellent City employees who serve us so well & who I sincerely come to appreciate & respect more each day. They are all talented, dedicated and creative people who put their hearts & souls into their work to make us better. We couldn’t accomplish anything without them.
I’m thankful for our growing, vibrant community and our many contributing citizens who help us achieve so many things. We have a volunteer base like no other town in West Virginia — people who give so generously of their time and resources every single day. Thanks to each of you.
This holiday is not just about being reflective of how blessed we are, to give thanks, but it’s also about reaching out to those who have had more than their fair share of challenges, who don’t have as much as others of us to be thankful for.
We know families whose breadwinners have been displaced. We know families who’ve been hurt, disrupted due to family members who are victims of substance abuse. We know persons who are challenged by health, age, infirmity. We know many lonely souls. Please — I implore you — take a moment out of your day to reach out to someone who will be uplifted by your token act of kindness.
Go knock on a door or two, drop off a pie to a neighbor, be randomly liberal with your smiles for others. Engage folks around you. You just never know how much something seemingly so small, can matter so much to someone else.
Do it for yourself — I guarantee you’ll feel better about life if you go out of your way to be kind to others.
We truly are ALL in THIS together — thanks for attending our meeting this evening. We hope to see you next time. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!