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Peace officer counts lifes blessings
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Giving thanks for 30 days on Facebook in written meditation is the result of a peace officer looking for a silver lining every day.

The “12 Days of Christmas” is a perfect parallel with “30 days of Thanksgiving” – one day at a time.  It’s all about taking time out of our busy schedules to post something good that happened – recognizing the better things in life – and hoping that others might notice and follow suit and travel down the same path.

The police officer assigned to Manteca High School, April Smith, has been posting notes every day about the little things and the not so little that have crossed her path during November.  She has been letting her friends know she loves life while thanking everyone who has made her days memorable with the things they do in the course of her month.

As a police officer she often faces the dark side of the community, but by reading her one-liners online you wouldn’t know it.  This is one thankful woman I’m happy to know as a friend.  

“In police work we forget how thankful we should be,” she told me this week.  “I looked back at all I had been thankful for and it upped my mood.”

Officer Smith said the “one day at a time” idea in making note of the positive things in her life was borrowed from her home town in Iowa.   She had been diverted as I chatted with her for a moment in passing but it didn’t cross my mind that she might need some water.

A woman who lives nearby saw her and offered her water in her patrol car.  Smith thought that was the best, kindest thing that happened to her that day.

She wrote:  “I am thankful for the older woman who offered me a Pepsi, but instead saw my need for water and refilled my water while I was on a perimeter post for three hours – so sweet.”

And on another day:  “I met a 22-year-old girl who just moved here from Oregon.  You can see the love she has for her husband in her eyes – it’s beautiful and takes me back.”

Two small children who spotted the female police officer in her black and white got her attention: “Thankful for two little boys with toothless smiles and tousled hair like they just rolled out of bed.  They waved vigorously at me on their way to school.”

The officer said she is also very thankful for music that can be so uplifting to her mood during the day.  It helps motivate her, she added.  And in the process she is motivating others to look to the positive side and pass it on.

While all of this indicate that Smith is a sensitive cop, that doesn’t take away from her law enforcement skills that make her someone to reckon with on the street.

Hey, April, there are a lot of us who are thankful too – for having someone like you on the Manteca force and for putting your thoughts down in writing for others to see. Can you imagine how powerful this could be if others made a habit of doing the same thing instead of complaining and bad mouthing others?  Just one day at a time.

Happy Thanksgiving!