There is no way to adequately thank "BFF" Julia and the kids who made time for and stuck with him -- those who brought doses of the best medicine known to Man -- doses of "normal" during his years-long illness.
Toddlers and young kids are self-centered by nature, and thankfulness needs to obviously extend beyond just basic good manners. The default mode will always be "satisfy me," and putting others first and being grateful is not natural. It has to be taught.
As we approach Black Friday and that seemingly insignificant day that just happens to fall before it, I find myself sickened at the greedy consumerism that has taken over our society. It pains me that our children are growing up with this as their "norm."