Giving Thanks and Thanksgiving!

by John Zajaros on November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from The Zajaros Family

Regardless of where you are in the world, there is something you can be thankful for on this day!

Even in the depths of despair and depression, there were things I could focus on, things that would remind me of why I was glad to be alive, and so I pressed on! More times than not, my family was my focus, it is what defines me and keeps me going when every fiber of my being wants to say…


We have all had moments when we are tested; and, those moments may range from seconds to weeks, months, and in the worst cases, years. Times and challenges may come when were feel more than a bit like Job.

And yet, if we persevere, if we press on and do not give up all hope, things turn and our lives become amazing…again!


The other day I was walking my Little Big Dog. For those of you who have watched Little Big Man (1970), with Dustin Hoffman, you will understand why I refer to him in this fashion. I swore I would never own a “little” dog, a “yappie” dog, and yet here I am with a 15 pound “little-yappie” dog who thinks he’s a cross between a Bull Mastiff and a Doberman. We inherited the puppy when my son-in-law and daughter had to pick up their household and move south for his US Army Reserves commitment, his second call-up.

I am a disabled veteran and am proud of him for serving. I hate war…I love my country!

Interestingly, our other dog, a Shetland Sheepdog, was also inherited through the same daughter when her boyfriend, another soldier (go figure!), was shipped off to Iraq and needed a home for his puppy. AJ never came back for the dog! He would have had a very hard time getting him back anyway.

Anyway, back to the Little Big Dog, dog number one…in his mind, anyway. This “Little Big Dog” has the perfect name, a name he earned after surviving terrible illness as a puppy, TuffGuy! TuffGuy is indeed tough. Yes, I do know we have played with the spelling, but once again that was a name we had no part in selecting. In retrospect, how could he have been named anything else?

Interestingly, that little dog, that tough little dog, TuffGuy, nursed me back to health very much in the same way, and at the same time, I was nursing him back from the grave!

So, there we were the other night, 3am in the morning actually, walking down the street as we do every night or early morning, both happy to be alive, healthy, and each other’s company! The ultimate Odd Couple, an Internet marketing entrepreneur reborn and a Puggle…Mutt and Jeff, just happy to be alive!

It’s funny how life often brings us back to certain points again and again. I can remember driving down the street in 1983, again in 1987, in 1993, and once again in 1998 (just before I got sick); and, in every instance I had the music up loud, the windows of the car open, and the wind in my face, literally and figuratively, just happy to be alive. Ecstatic, actually! These moments were all attached to specific events and/or periods in my life, periods of super achievement, living with a sense of what is possible. In fact, with a very real sense that all things are possible! There have been many more throughout my life!

That was the feeling the other night…that all things are possible!

As Yogi Berra would say:

“Deja vu all over again!”

It is the most amazing feeling in the world, it is better than any drug, it is a natural high…the likes of which you have got to experience to understand!

It is on that note that I say I am thankful, not simply because it happens to be a day earmarked by our government years ago as a time of celebration, but because it is a time in my life for celebration, for a victory dance of sorts, for being thankful, and for thanksgiving!

I have a wonderful wife who has stayed with me through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, until death do us part…through years of being in the hospital 2 of every 4 weeks, for months on end. I have 4 wonderful children whom I love dearly and would sacrifice my life for. I have two of the most amazing little granddaughters a grandfather could ever brag about…and I do! I have amazing friends, a few and I treasure them, and I have met a few new ones. I have Bart, a wonderful, quiet, and very special Sheltie we just paid over $6,000 to “save,” after he broke his leg. And I have TuffGuy…or he has me!

I am an extremely wealthy man!

Interestingly, I had a YouTube viewer comment that a video I made showed a lack of material possessions and that it must say something about my financial status.

In fact, it said more about his!

We have been to H#ll and back over the last few years…and I have survived, we all have. I have survived because of the wealth I have that has nothing to do with a bank statement and everything to do with the true value of life and the real measure of a man’s place in it…his family, his friends, and the things he holds dear!

And yes, sometimes that is a “Little Big Dog” named TuffGuy!

I am rich beyond words, beyond description, and it has nothing to do with my bookshelves or the background in my videos or the balance in my bank account.

Sam Walton, the story goes, was on his death bed and uttered these words:

“I blew it!”

I intend to say the following on mine:

“I did it!”

In the mean time, I will simply say:

Thank you, one and all for taking the time to be a part of my life, for reading my thoughts and feelings, for sharing your own. I am richer for the exchange, and I am wealthier for the knowledge you have shared with me.

Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving…each and every day!


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

disk to disk backup December 25, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Thank you soooooooooooooooooo much for this article this is exactly the thing I needed today.


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