Here we are again heading into the holidays, but this year is definitely different. Our lives, as a whole, have been turned upside down by an invisible demon. Sure, there are naysayers, claiming it isn’t as bad as they say, but maybe they haven’t lost a loved one, a business, their job, their sense of safety, their sense of fellowship with others and maybe even a place to live or food to put on the table. You might find it difficult to be grateful this year, it might cause you to stop in your tracks to look for reasons to celebrate this Thanksgiving. You may feel lost and alone.
For myself, I look around me and everywhere I look, I see a piece of my life. My walls are covered in pictures of times gone by, the vacations we took, the laughs that we shared, all captured in a moment in time. I have scores of albums filled with pictures of celebrations like birthdays, weddings, award ceremonies, school field trips and on and on. These are treasures for me and probably the thing that keeps me on track.
Being thankful is about appreciating others and what they bring to our lives. It is about feeling warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is about having a pantry and refrigerator full of food. It is the feel of the silky fur as my dog lays her precious head on my knee, her eyes saying “I know it’s been a rough day”. Being thankful is about feeling loved by someone and loving them back. It is the gaze of a child as they learn something new or make a new friend. It is about that first love when you are young that literally makes you smile at the very thought of them.
The sunrise and the sunset prove that there are things we just can’t explain and I’m thankful for those. Oceans and lakes, their beaches and sand, sand squishing up between my toes in bare feet, I am thankful for that.
The patient who told me I was the best nurse she could have ever had while she held her newborn baby. I’m thankful for her and the patients that told me they couldn’t have done it without me, even though I know they could. The patient who held her baby that never took a breath, but taught me lessons about a mom’s love. I am thankful for that. For those moms whose babies never came home, but let me share their special moments of saying “I love you”, I am so very thankful for them.
I am thankful for friends that build me up when I need it and kick me in the butt when I need that, I am thankful for old friends and new friends and for those I pass each day going about the business of life, I am thankful for smiles and hugs and simple things like that.
I am thankful for my faith and the belief that we’ll all be together again someday. I am thankful for family and health, something we often take for granted.
I am thankful for my Compassionate Friends that walked with me on my journey of child loss, showing me there was life left to be lived. I am thankful for everyone I’ve met along the way, the survivors of one of life’s true tragedies. I am thankful most people never feel that pain. Thank you to those who use their pain to help others traveling that road.
I am thankful for the most incredible mother a girl was so lucky to have. I am thankful for everything she taught me about life and love and how to appreciate even the most minute things. The things I most treasure are the lessons I learned from my mom. She truly made me who I am today with her spirit and tenacity, and she made me want to be just like her.
I am thankful for my very short 29 years with Lindsey. She taught me lessons I didn’t even know I needed to learn. In life she made me proud and in death she made me strong. Thankful that although our time was short, we had that time. I will miss you forever and I’m thankful I understand that.
I am and will forever be thankful that I met #26 in the hallway of George Wythe High School on that fall day. Rick, I thank you for choosing me to be your wife, the mother of your three amazing daughters and Mimi to our grandchildren. Although life is not what we envisioned, it has been an incredible and fulfilling life and I am truly thankful for that.
I am thankful to Amanda and Tiffany for just being there for me, in the good times and in the bad. We haven’t always had it easy, but we’ve always had each other. Oh how very thankful am I for that…
When you look around today and celebrate however you choose, find what truly makes you smile, makes you happy and makes you feel loved…and be THANKFUL FOR THAT..