On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for the gifts that Debra Bankston brings to my life. I first met her at the national convention of the American Speech/Language and Hearing Association. She was finishing her Master’s degree from Memphis State and I was seeking a speech language pathologist to come to Charleston. I had been conducting interviews all day. When Debra showed up, I knew my search was over. I could not have found a better person for the position. She completed her undergraduate degree at Louisiana Tech University. She turned out to be a fantastic staff member, a wonderful friend, and a great community worker. She worked part-time as the Christian Education Director at John Wesley Methodist Church. When she decided to leave Charleston for Texas, she invited me to come out to Marshall to help her set-up her private practice. She married Tom and then taught many years at Stephen F. Austin State University where she also served as the director of the Speech and Hearing Center. Emily came to grace their lives and life took on even more meaning. Debra was my son Michael’s first crush. He was in middle school and absolutely smitten with her. May is Better Speech and Hearing Month and Debra Wimberley Bankston is a remarkable representative of this profession. On this Thankful Thursday, I am blessed by the many joys that Debra Bankston brings to my life.

Thankful Thursday is a day set aside to recognize the importance of someone to our lives and to let her or him know of our gratitude. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter. You will be glad that you did.