Up and Down El Rio Blanco: “Thanks”

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More than 20 years ago in Steamboat Springs, Father Tom Dentici gave my all-time favorite sermon. I don’t remember it verbatim but the bottom line was:
“The ultimate prayer, is a prayer of thanks,” Father Tom said.
I think of this sermon almost daily but the last time I mentioned it out loud was five years ago, at my niece Natasha’s funeral.
The other night at the candlelight vigil for James Sizemore, Pastor Johnny Arrington used the same word as Father Tom.
“Thanks,” Pastor Johnny told the large crowd of family and friends gathered on the courthouse lawn, before offering his prayer.
I’m saddened when people so young and so full of life leave us before we are ready for them to go but I’m still thankful.
I’m thankful for my job. My favorite part is getting to watch kids grow up. I remember James as a little red-headed kid, always smiling, always with friends, always said “hi” and always lived life to the fullest. I’m thankful he left doing what he loved to do. Like my niece, James will be missed but never forgotten.
Thanks Natasha.
Thanks James.
I’m thankful I got to attend another state wrestling tournament last week. It’s fun to follow kids through the season and competition in the “big show.” Wrestling is the oldest sport in the world, possibly the most humbling and the lessons learned can be the most rewarding.
As a former wrestler and fan of the sport for more than 30 years, it’s fun to see friends and watch kids try to accomplish their goals. I got to  speak with Olympic champion Henry Cejudo and his brother Angel. Both have been to Meeker to give wrestling clinics and both are living in Colorado Springs, training at the Olympic Training Center for the 2012 Olympics. Henry is the youngest American to ever win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling.
Thanks Henry.
Thanks Angel.
I’m thankful I also got to watch one of our own and although Rangely senior Cole Barlow did not accomplish his goal, I know he will accomplish much in his life. After years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears, Cole lost in the state championship finals. Instead of hanging his head, Cole stood on the podium, received his silver medal, looked right at my camera and smiled. When I reviewed the picture and saw him smiling, I knew he got “it.”
Thanks Cole.
I’m thankful for our servicemen and women. Like Sergeant Brice Glasscock of Meeker, who is currently serving in Bagram, Afghanistan. Sergeant Glasscock left Ft. Lewis, Washington, Jan. 14 and will return in December. His address is:
APO, AE 09354
Thanks Brice.
Thanks God.