Above all, love — Thanksgiving thoughts: Letters to the Editor

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Molly Andrea Yap with husband Richard Peter.

Above all, love

Thankfulness in the midst of our trials is an attitude of gratitude and choice. Richard Peter and I have been married for 28 years. The taking to task of our marriage vows "in sickness and in health" is a reality since his diagnosis of Parkinson's disease 10 years ago and now with dementia onset.


Although it is difficult for me to watch his health decline from the struggles and challenges of Parkinson's progression, I am thankful for the blessed honor as his wife and caregiver to see beyond his physical appearance, fragility and dependence upon me for his basic incapabilities of personal grooming, mobility and communication. He has a tenacious spirit, resilience and a sense of humor, along with memories of our joy and laughter, and precious moments we've shared.

Realizing the existing brevity of our lives and mortality, I am thankful to God for our salvation and eternal lives through Jesus Christ; Richard's unconditional love and faithfulness; my daughter, Michele; and the blessed honor as stepmother to Christopher, who died from a school bus/motorcycle accident last year.


May our every prayer be a prayer of thanksgiving and every day of our lives be a day of thanksgiving also.
Molly Andrea Yap

Richard Peter shares pie with his wife, Molly Andrea Yap.

Thanks, Yes I can

I've had the wonderful opportunity to live in and visit many countries around the world. As I compare those experiences with living here, I'm thankful for many things.

In this democracy, I can be thankful for the right to freely speak about my chosen candidates and to vote. We many times take this right for granted. Many others around the world don't have this right, nor will they in their lifetime.

At age 11, I came to the U.S. in hiding from tyranny and was granted a place in the wonderful home of a family who gave us the opportunity to live in a free country. I will forever be thankful to them for providing me this start.

This family cherished the right of having many choices in where to take your life. I will forever defend the right for others to have the opportunity to choose. Democracy is not only the right to vote but the right to choose, and I am thankful for that.

I have made many choices in my life. Among the good choices were my lifetime partner, my international career, my family and now our family business. I also made some poor choices, but I learned from them, and I have to give thanks for the right to have been able to make those choices.

So Thanksgiving for me means "thanks and yes I can."


Alexander F. Fernandez

Orlando Sentinel Editorial

Advisory Board member from


Glad to be home

After living in Central Florida for many years, I returned to my hometown, Erie, Penn. I found a good job there and worked for 14 years, retiring at the young age of 78. My son, who is career Coast Guard, returned to Florida after many years away. He persuaded me to move to Florida, as he will be retiring here.


Moving here in July 2015, I prepared to return here to retire and live happily ever after. Wrong! Instead, I spent the first six months of this year in and out of hospitals and rehab centers, and finding myself repeatedly at death's door. I finally began slowly turning around in June, and with the help of some wonderful doctors, began to mend.

But then, you all know what happened. Hurricane Matthew came to visit us here in Port Orange. I had to evacuate with my cat, and returned to find some destruction to my home.

In spite of those setbacks, I am grateful this year to be alive, to have come through the storm and to be back reading the Orlando Sentinel, which I did every day for many years. I have lived all over the United States in my lifetime, but have always considered the Orlando area my home. I'm grateful to be back!

Lois A. Carrig Port Orange

Bright outlook

I'm grateful that the United States of America has now awakened and rebelled against the threats brought on by a liberal administration bent on transforming the nation into a European governmental style of socialism.


I'm thankful that the country finally has a chance to reverse the trend of ever-escalating national debt and deficits brought on by over-regulation and failed economic policies.

I'm grateful that we might be able to now restore our military to a readiness level that can deal decisively with multiple global threats while not wasting our time and precious resources chasing imaginary problems such as which restroom to use.

And I'm so very thankful that we won't have to endure more years of corruption by people who have disappointed and disgraced the White House and our system of government for way too long.

It won't be easy for any of us, but we all have to pull together in order to survive and thrive as the world's oldest and strongest democracy. Happy Thanksgiving.

George W. Koehn Orlando

Sentinel Editorial Advisory Board member from Winter Park


Family and more

I am thankful to have family who loves me, a roof over my head, food in the pantry, generous real and virtual friends, enough funds to pay bills, birds that sing in the morning, squirrels that trill real or imagined warnings, the bright blue sky and the view from my front porch of the sun rise.

Pati A.R. Howard Orlando

Big-hearted mom

I am ever so thankful for having a 92-year-old mother who is spunky enough to drive herself (very safely) anywhere she wants to go, tend to her patio garden, cook wonderful meals, keep her home in great shape and, most important, love her family with all of that big heart of hers. I love you, Mom.

Michael A. Smith Longwood