Am I Thankful? You Bet I Am


Am I Thankful? You Bet I Am

thank-you-971649_640Sometimes when you have the urge to write you go ahead and do it. I just got home from school at the Illinois Media School in Lombard. More on that later.

I have about a 60- to 90-minute drive (give or take) from Lombard to where I live in Ottawa. The great thing about having a long drive is that you come up with inspiration for doing things creativity.

I’ve noticed that during the month of November, people have posted a status each day to say how thankful they are. Each day a new topic is posted usually beginning on November 1st and continuing until Thanksgiving Day.

I have never been one to come up with one every day. Maybe I will at some point but not now.

I do have a list of things that I am thankful for. They are not listed in order of importance except for the first one. Here it goes.

– I am thankful for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am thankful that he took my place on the cross and took the penalty for my sins so I can have eternal life.

– I am thankful that the Lord blessed me with a great woman for the last 15 years of my life and that is my late wife Valerie (that is still weird to say). Valerie and I were married for 13 years. Val was sick with many health issues for the last seven years of her life and she finally lost that battle and went to be with the Lord on September 8th, 2015. Val and I had a long road that we traveled together. She was my best friend and soulmate. I have missed her every day since she passed away. I know she is up in heaven smiling down one me.

– I am thankful for my family, especially my mom, Ann. My mom has been there for me and then some. Even letting me come back and live with her here in Ottawa when the lease on our apartment ran out in Plano and I didn’t have the financial resources to sign another lease. It hasn't been easy but I couldn’t imagine going back to that empty apartment in Plano after Val passed away.

– Family is not just limited to the Newell and Mussatto side of things. I am thankful for Valerie’s side of the family, especially her cousins Tammy and Charlie plus, Val’s uncle Dick and Aunt Gloria. I don’t talk to them as much as I would like since life is so busy. Long before Val passed away, I was part of their family and I know they have my back and are there for me when I need it. Guys, it’s so true, without family, a man has nothing.

– Along with family support, it’s great to have friends in my case, both near and far that are there for me while I go on this grief journey. I have learned that I am not alone in this. It’s true (as much as I hate to admit it being a Chelsea FC fan). Liverpool FC has it right with their song “You Never Walk Alone”.

– If anyone reading this and  is taking care of a loved one and are looking for support from fellow caregivers. Go to and sign up for a free account. I was Val’s caregiver for the seven years she was sick.  I have been going to the website for almost a year. The support I have gotten there has been amazing. I highly recommend giving the site a shot. You will thank me later.

– I am 46 years old and I decided to go back to school. My #1 cheerleader, Valerie, encouraged me to go back to my true passion (next to her of course) and that is broadcasting. I am five weeks away from finishing classes at the Illinois Center for Broadcasting/Illinois Media School in Lombard. I am thankful that I have that in my life at this moment. My love for radio has been rekindled and I know that I  am going to have a hugely successful career in whatever I decided to do.

Finally, I am thankful to be alive. There’s an old saying (I’m not sure who said it) every day above ground is a good day. I couldn’t agree more.

There you have it. Some (but not all) of the things I am thankful for. I’m going to keep plugging away and I hope everyone has a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

SHAMELESS PLUG TIME – Don’t forget to tune in every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to Two Sports Guys Radio with Craig Wenzel and I on Sports Town Chicago.

What is Two Sports Guys Radio? It's all the sports talk and silliness that we can cram into two hours.

There are two ways to listen.

PC – Go to and click on the “Listen Live” link.

Mobile -Go you your app store and download the TuneIn app (it’s free) and search for Sports Town Chicago.

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Thanks so much for all you do, Jamie. I'm sooo inspired by your decision to return to school and so proud of all that you accomplished. You have much success in your future.


Thanks for sharing your life with us here. We gain from your joy and progress. as well as share in your sorrow. Sure hope you had a happy Thanksgiving as well.


Jamie, you show us what the true meaning of Thanksgiving is. Happy Thanksgiving.