The Thanksgiving season is filled with hope, gratitude and reflection. We look forward to being with family and friends, reviewing the year’s achievements, and giving thanks for the abundance in our lives. It is in this spirit of hope and gratitude that I offer my heartfelt best wishes.

How did the first European settlers in the “New World” know we needed this break in the calendar so badly? How did they know we needed this time of year to stop and give thanks?

Thanksgiving is a perfect holiday: it includes all religious and ethnic groups, involves the expression of gratitude (though admittedly we also get a great meal in return), bonds people together and usually prompts several days off. Thanksgiving is in some way a “time out of time’s flow” as we break the rush of activity to stop, reflect on the past and give thanks.

I have always loved this holiday best. My family celebrated Thanksgiving by hosting dinner. The day was spent with those I love cooking, laughing, eating, going for walks and always eating more than I should have.

As health care professionals, our patients are front and center. Let’s be thankful for the individuals and families we have served over the past year. They have inspired us and given us a gift by allowing us into their lives. With humility, let’s extend a grateful heart in the memory of those who have passed. And let’s send special thoughts to those currently caring for a loved one during their final days.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of joy, love and gratitude.