What are People in Oakland County Thankful For?
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Nov. 28, 2019)
Oakland County, MI – Across Oakland County many are making time today to think about what they are most grateful for. We asked readers what they are grateful for this Thanksgiving. Here are some of the many great things people shared…
Those adorable triplets in the picture turn one on this Thanksgiving, and proud dad Daniel Prekup of Holly is very thankful for “these little guys.”
Andrea Gillespie of Hazel Park is also a new parent. She’s thankful for “the birth of my baby and both of us making it, my continued health, my amazing man I have beside me supporting me, and both of my beautiful girls.”
And in Royal Oak, there is thankfulness in the expectation as Sarah Cilluffo says she is “growing our family in December.”
Family is the most oft-cited source of gratitude, with dozens of people being thankful for theirs, including Ginger Keaton and Cher Mitchel of Ferndale, Al Carter of Royal Oak, Christine Cross of Holly, and Rita Tortonesi Dieter of Novi.
Jake Walker of Walled Lake said he’s thankful for his “little bros,” and Rebecca Keeton of Hazel Park said “I am extremely thankful for my Dad. He has taught me to be fair, forgiving, kind and wise.”
Kathleen Connolly of Clarkston is grateful for “the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with the cousins who were my surrogate siblings. They even made travel arrangements for me.”
Sadie-Dan Riedel of Royal Oak said “I’m thankful that my kids are happy!”
Tina Barton of Davisburg is “grateful that this year our daughter and her husband moved to Michigan. Both of our kids and their spouses now live within 15 minutes of us.”
Jean Fletcher is grateful for a recent move to Waterford and “being able to move close to my in-laws who are 88 & 89 so we can love them and support their independence.”
In Milford, Meg O’Neill is proud of her family, including “my wonderful son who is serving our Country in the U.S.Army.in the Military Police.”
Samantha Carnevale Hendricks of Holly is also grateful for her son. “Diagnosed in 2013 with leukemia and has relapsed twice,” she wrote, “Currently undergoing radiation and still going to school because he doesn’t want to miss it. It’s his 2nd year of being Children’s Miracle Network Ambassador for Beaumont and giving speeches all the time. Was just told that he was nominated for being the National Children’s Miracle Network Ambassador. After all he’s been through he just wants to give back and make a difference. He’s my hero!”
Health worries, injuries, recoveries, and support are experiences that people across the county have faced, giving them the gratitude of health and optimism this holiday season.
Teri Griffin Williams recalled a recent injury and all the helpers that got her through it. “Thankful for the neighbor who came to chat with me while I waited for the Pleasant Ridge police and Ferndale Fire Departments, who rapidly responded to my 911 call on October 2 and got me to Beaumont for an emergency fractured femur surgery,” Williams wrote. “And grateful to have a phone with SIRI so I could call my daughter Molly Rose Livingstone to pick up the three dogs I was walking, then make that 911 call, as I could not move to grab my phone. And my husband Jeffrey Williams has been a rock star! Without him I would not be healing so quickly! I’m pretty thankful to be here this Thanksgiving, to be walking!”
Peggy Scott of Highland also needed the help of first responders. “One year ago today I went into cardiac arrest I am grateful to the Highland Fire Department for saving my life. They are truly my heroes forever and ever. I am also grateful to Dave and the social worker for giving me CPR till the fire dept arrived. All are in my thoughts and prayers now and forever,” Scott said.
Karen McMurray of Clarkston is thankful for her son, and for her new insulin pump that she said has changed her life.
For Gretchen Cross Hertz it’s bariatric surgery that has been life-changing. “Instead of a slow decline into less mobility and opportunities, as I hit my late 40s, every year is getting better,” she said.
Amy Blanchard of Madison Heights is happy to be healthy. “I was very sick earlier in the year, and was in the hospital for 5 days,” she said. “The family and friends who checked up on me daily made me realize how many wonderful and supportive people I have in my life. I am forever grateful for that reminder of how lucky I am.”
Mike Drennan of Clawson said “I’m very thankful that my surgeon and dozens of doctors and nurses were able to save my life back in April so I could enjoy another Thanksgiving with my family and friends. Thank you to all of them!”
For Kris Childers of Southfield, the gratitude goes to “my granddaughters organ donor, Simon. Forever grateful.”
For some it is the little things that bring joy.
“I am grateful for my dog. He is a very good boy,” wrote Elizabeth Light of Waterford.
Shelly Rose of Madison Heights is happy to have a decent vehicle.
Arthur Rimbold of Royal Oak is thankful for Amazon Prime, while in Milford Richard Lippitt is thankful for Comcast.
Ferndale’s Francine Hachem is thankful “The Kardashians are on the last season!”
Milford’s Bruce Black is thankful for “Donald Trump and this wonderful country.”
Chad Rubi of Oak Park is “Thankful that Woodward has all lanes open for over a month in a row now.”
Melissa Hanks Ketchel of Oxford is thankful for coffee.
“This year I would like to be thankful for the more fun, lighthearted things that people always seem to put on the back burner or maybe consider “not important,” said Rochester’s Nicole Bratton. “Here are a few… eye shadow glitter, Dr. Martens are back in style, the plethora of ghost hunting shows available, marzipan candy, and the joy of feasting on fine foods!”
Linda Smith of Holly wrote “I am thankful for the basic things in life…food, clothing , a roof over my head and freedom to worship God. We take these things for granted.”
Brenda Lusk is thankful for “My wrinkles! Because they mean that I have laughed more than I have cried in my lifetime. I am so blessed.”
Brandon Alger of Berkley wrote “I’m grateful for Detroit style pizza. I only regret I had to experience the first 3 decades of my life without learning of this decadence.”
Sharon Crane of Ferndale said “I am grateful when anyone makes a positive comment on Facebook,” while David Lester Jarrett of Milford said “I am grateful to have survived another year so that I can spend this Holiday with family and friends. Also thankful for the ability to block Facebook trolls.”
For many the sense of gratitude is tied to the place they call home.
In Novi, Marie K. Kowalczyk is thankful for “the community around us with so much to offer.”
Emily Bell wrote “I am so grateful for my neighbors here in Ferndale. Everyone looks out for everyone else.”
Melanie Swords of Milford wrote that she’s “Very grateful for the amazing sense of community! I moved here 20 years ago, having grown up in a small town that was rather closed (even though we were third generation, the townsfolk saw us as newcomers), I cannot say enough about the sense of inclusion I have felt here in Milford. I even get a laugh from the comments on setting up chairs and “call the mayor.” The growing pains are not unlike where I grew up. All in all, Milford is a great place. I was invited to participate and volunteer, be a part of things here. It made feel at home.”
Angela Hebda Lemon wrote “I’m thankful for the circle of friends I’ve grown this past year….in my New Generation Seniors of Holly and Hollyhocks, as well as my Watercolor Art Class and Pickleball groups.”
Ric Beattie said “I’m grateful for the big bright light show downtown in Rochester. I’m grateful for the massive amount of greenway we have the trails the rail weather trails etc. I’m grateful for the vibe of this town. I’m grateful for trees and coyotes and deer. I’m grateful for life and the opportunity to live here in the middle of everything.”
Jennifer Allen of Royal Oak was in the news this year, having helped a man in her son’s group home find his biological family, and by raising money for his needs. Allen wrote she is thankful for “this community reaching out to my son and his roommate- two strangers in a little group home- and changing all of our lives.”
For some, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the recent local elections.
Lynn Clark of Ferndale said she was grateful “That Laura Mikulski is now in a place, with her election to city council, to protect our land and all of individuals that live in Ferndale needs.”
And Laura Rock of Madison Heights gave a shout-out to her candidate of choice as well. “I’m grateful for Kymmburleigh Annette Clark. She has inspired me and helped me see my potential,” Rock wrote.
Clark herself wrote that she is grateful for the sense of community in Madison Heights.
Theresa Mungioli said “I am grateful for the support of the community in my election to Rochester Hills City Council.” And Bridget Dean said “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the residents of Berkley!”
Ferndale Councilperson Raylon Leaks-May shared a specific story of gratitude, posting “The other day, I picked up my youngest son from a friend’s house. I saw that he had a pride button on his coat. I asked him where he got it? He told me that someone had some posters and buttons that he was giving away and asked my son and his friends if they would like one. I asked my son if he knew what that button represented? His answer ‘it represents support for the LGBTQ community!’ So, what I am most grateful for is to be raising wonderful children who are not afraid to take a stance and are supportive and welcoming to others!”
And for Hazel Park Councilperson Alissa Sullivan, the gratitude comes after an exceptionally hard year. “I’m thankful for the support of my friends, family and community after my house fire last December,” she wrote. “I’m thankful for being able to rebuild my house and stay an active part of my city, where my neighbors really came together and helped me thru the hardest part of my life.”
There are others online who shared how their struggles have helped them be grateful. Nikki Waldo of Ferndale wrote “It sounds weird, but I’m I’m grateful that I know what it’s like to struggle which in turn makes me appreciate the things I do have even more.”
Also in Ferndale, Sheri Galens said “I am grateful for staying true to myself all year. It isn’t as easy as it seems.”
And for some, it’s simply the memories that make this Thanksgiving a special one.
Emily Suzanne shared “I am grateful that almost exactly one year ago, I ignored all common sense and spent $1200 on tickets to take my dad to see Paul McCartney. It was his Christmas gift last year and the concert itself, in June, ended up being the last time I spent with my dad before he passed away just a couple of days later. My last moments with my dad were beautiful and memorable, and the memories make it a lot easier to be thankful this year, on my first Thanksgiving without him.”
In Hazel Park, Jerry Douglas Templeton wrote that “memories of loved ones that have passed away, and live through the retelling of those memories to younger family members and friends,” are something to be thankful for this year.
Stefani Yaya of Milford said “I’m grateful for my life, family, friends and my fur babies. I’m also very grateful for my cleaning business going so well this year. I struggled in the beginning because of weather. Now I’m amazing! So grateful. So happy.”
Monica McDonald of New Hudson said “I am grateful to wake up each and every day.”
And in Northville, Murphy Cavanaugh said “I am grateful for LIFE and LOVE!”
Royal Oak teacher Amanda Goodson wrote “I’m thankful for my students. They are compassionate, caring, funny, and hard working. They know how to cheer me up on a bad day and trust me enough to help them with theirs.” And Ferndale teacher Kali Rose said “I am grateful for my middle school students and the love, light, and chaos they bring to my life.”
Waterford Community Church music ministry got a shout out from Barbara King.
So did “the new beautiful blue and white lights on Coolidge and 12 Mile,” from Terry Wendzinski of Berkley.
As far as Susan Dreslinski of Milford, her list “is way too long to post,” but we are certainly grateful for all of the readers who shared their happiness with us today! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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