Thanksgiving is the holiday that we as Americans use to appreciate the things we have in life. Whether it be family, friends, or just the spread on the table, we say the words "I'm giving thanks." Have you ever thought of actually thanking someone for the impact they had on you?

We are a collection of experiences. Some are good, some are bad; all are defining moments that make us who we are as people. It's easy to forget the influence some people have had, usually only remembered after that person is gone. This holiday season I was not going to let a very specific "Thank You" go unsaid.

When I was a small child of about four or five, I started plinking around on a piano that belonged to a friend of my mom's. Marilyn's piano was the first instrument I fell in love with. Even as a toddler, I was showing some innate musical talent, and Marilyn was the first person to tell my mom that was something that needed to be nourished. Being that Marilyn was one of my mom's best friend's, I continued to grow up around her piano. I learned to sing in her den. I found the guitar and would start playing along with her or her boys playing the piano. She taught me that anyone could be a songwriter and helped me pen my first songs. Because of this wonderful person, I became a musician. Playing music has been the only thing that has ever made complete sense to me, and it has gotten me through some of the darkest times in my life. I thought that I, at least, owed her a simple "Thank You."

So that's just what I did. She is a Facebook friend of mine, so I posted a public message to her. I told her all of the above. I told her that I would not be the man I am today without her influence. I told her that music has kept me alive. I told her that I'm forever grateful for putting the idea into my mom's head that I had something that needed to be explored. I told her, "Thank you for making me who I am."

She messaged back, told me how much that touched her heart, told me how proud she was of my accomplishments, and told me how proud my mom would be. That, my friends, is exactly what I needed to hear.

I'm so glad I was able to express that to Marilyn, and I hope that my story inspires you to find that person in your life that made you who you are. I hope you find them and I hope you thank them.

Thank them today, before you can't anymore.

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