Ten months ago, maybe even six, I was 100% sure that I would just want to let tomorrow go by unrecognized. Same with Christmas next month. This first year without Mom just didn't seem possible to survive, let alone have anything to be thankful for or happy about. But the opposite has actually happened. I have become acutely aware of just how much I have to be thankful for. I always considered myself a grateful, appreciative person who takes little for granted. But "little" became "nothing" this year. It's funny how a loss puts things into a completely different perspective.
I am so thankful for the strength my Dad has found in dealing with this. He is an incredible person and I am also thankful for having been able to spend more time with him this year. Our conversations are treasures to me.
I am so thankful for the support and kinship of my sisters and their families, my husband and children and stepchildren and my Aunt L. They have been everything to me this year.
I am so thankful for the amazing circle of women I am friends with who listen, help, laugh, and cry along with me with no judgement.
I am so thankful for the strength my son has shown in the face of a terrifying adversary, and how far we are now from where we were a year ago. He has courage, that kid does.
I am thankful for the person my daughter has become pretty much just because she wants to be. She's got the right instincts, the right morals, the right stuff.
I am thankful for the strength I've found in myself to make some good changes. One of those was to practice yoga regularly, beginning about two years ago. It has made a difference in many ways but probably the most important is in how I react to things. Better.
I am thankful for some other special people in my life who are there because of strange circumstances. Whether for a season or a reason or a lifetime, your presence makes a difference and brings me joy.
I am thankful that I got to visit Stonington this year. There is no other place on Earth that helps my soul as much.
I am thankful that we got to vacation in Vermont this summer. The place has had special meaning for my family for over 45 years, and it was awesome to experience it again with some of them. For the rest of my life, the sound of a brook or stream will bring me great memories of log cabins and woodsmoke, and shooting stars, and laughing so hard my sides hurt.
I am thankful that I got to visit San Francisco this year. I have talked for too many years about going, and this year finally did. It was wonderful visiting my Aunt and spending time with her and her family there. I loved the city. I loved her garden even more.
I am thankful for the weekend trip we made to Lancaster to visit with my dear friends C&C. It was so special and a bit magical and I am just so happy for the life you have created for yourselves. It is beautiful and good.
I am thankful for the band and the good times we enjoy with them. They are our other family. I am grateful for the ability to participate in their competitions once again. Banging on the tenor drum and making noise with the others is just so damned much fun.
I am thankful for the new beginnings in our family this year. Patty and Jim, Steve and Meg, and the twins who joined Natalie and Paul.
I am thankful for all that I have, and even for what I don't have. Because what I don't have is what makes all the rest so much more THERE.