Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III at FedEx field on Nov. 16, 2014 in Landover, MD.
Jonathan Newton—The Washington Post/Getty Images
November 21, 2014 11:04 AM EST

As the year comes closer to an end, and Thanksgiving rolls around, it brings out many feelings and moments to reminisce. Each day we should be thankful for everything we have, but many times we take the simple things in life for granted. Waking up in the morning. Being able to hear, see and smell. Walking, running and jumping. These are all things that can be overlooked in our lives that are not guaranteed. We are all guilty of it, but being able to give thanks to God each day for everything he gives us makes life all the richer.

I am thankful for many things.

My wife and future mother of my children. I feel blessed to have a strong woman of God to tackle the ups and downs of this world with.

My family. I thank God for the blessing of two parents, Robert and Jacqueline Griffin, who lead by example and showed me and my sisters, De’Jon and Jihan, what it means to sacrifice for who and what you love.

I am thankful to have true friends who are there through the good times and the bad, who show true loyalty and support. Time may pass but nothing will change, as we can pick up with the laughter and jokes right where we left off. Friends that keep the mood light and prove that life is great make me thankful each day.

I am thankful for all the teammates I have had throughout my career in sports. The Cherubims from Church League basketball. The Bulldawgs from high school football. The Jack Rabbits from AAU track and field. There is something special about being a part of a team that words can not explain.

I am always thankful for all of my successes, but along with that comes my failures. Without the latter, I would not be able to learn from my mistakes and correct my path to create success. Going through the highs and lows of life has made me the man that I am today, and I am very thankful for that.

Lastly, I am thankful for the promise of a future. I know that God has many blessings in store for my life, and beyond that, I believe that he has life for us after this earth that will be grand beyond our imaginations.

Thanksgiving can mean so many things, but as I think of what I am really thankful for, I know it is so much more than just a holiday. It’s a reminder to stay grateful for our wonderful lives.

Robert Griffin III is the quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

Read More From TIME

Related Stories

EDIT POST