In everything give thanks. ~ 1 Thessalonians
The week of Thanksgiving finds me very reflective. Sure I have my share of challenges, aches and pains, and crosses to bear, but they pale in comparison to all the blessings I have in my life. Today I take the time to start a list of some of the many people for whom I am thankful.
My mom – Mom passed away in September just short of her 91st birthday. She taught me patience and perseverance, kindness and compassion. She had a zest for life that she never forgot even after dementia took its toll on her memory. She certainly did celebrate life every day.
My husband – Chuck and I have been together for almost 45 years (married 38). We were high school sweethearts. Our life together has been a roller coaster, but I would not want to be on this wild ride with anyone else. He is my rock. He makes me laugh and dries my tears.
My children and their spouses – Angela and Charlie continue to make me proud every day. I have loved every minute watching them grow into the incredible adults they are today. The passion and drive they have for their chosen professions is extraordinary. They both have wonderful partners in life. Ryan and Krysten complement Angela and Charlie, and each couple makes a fabulous team. I am so lucky to have gained another “son” and “daughter.”
My grandchildren – Just when I thought life couldn’t get any better along came Parker and Emma just six weeks apart. I felt like the Grinch on Christmas morning. My heart grew at least three sizes that year. Then along came Isabella (Izzy) and a year later Nolan. Life as a grandparent is so much better than life as a parent. They are a healing elixir for whatever ails you.
My siblings, their spouses and significant others – I am the second of four (boy-girl-boy-girl). We are all very different, but what binds us is a strong loyalty to family. We may tease each other more than necessary sometimes, but don’t let anyone outside our little circle mess with one of us…there will be trouble! My siblings have been so supportive to me over the years in ways I can never repay.
My family-in law – They have been there for us over the years in many, many ways, and I am grateful for their love and concern.
My Book Club (The Chapter Chicks) – We are ten women strong who have been meeting almost monthly since February of 2004. We sometimes get off track and don’t always discuss the book, but oh well. It is like group therapy. We have been through parent deaths, a spouse’s death, graduations, weddings, grandchildren, serious sickness, aging, and just life. They are amazing!
My colleagues at OLM – I couldn’t ask to work on a better team. While we may not always agree, we always come to some sort of compromise. We complain together, laugh together, and support one another. They certainly make my day more enjoyable.
My Writing Project (PAWLP) colleagues – Becoming a writing fellow in 2000 was a life-changing experience. All of the women and men I have met and worked with along the way have helped me to grow as a teacher, a presenter, and as a writer. They helped me spread my wings and pushed me out of the nest.
I am sure that I could go on, but there is always tomorrow to continue my list. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and the time to give thanks.