It's Thanksgiving. I know the cultural significance of this day, and don't pretend it isn't there, but that's not what this post is about. This post is about giving thanks for what I have. I've spent a lot of time this fall thinking about what is not, what is wrong, and what is never to be. That's not to say I don't spend time each day being amazed and grateful for what we have in front of us, but there has been a lot of grieving this season (year).
We are in Issaquah, WA where one of my sisters lives for our (almost complete - missing one sister's fam) family thanksgiving. We're not having our actual big dinner till tomorrow when my oldest (21!) niece, Kelcie and her boyfriend arrive. Tomorrow will be the day we sit around a big table laden with delicious food and give thanks for each other's support, and presence in our lives, we'll toast one another with good wine and look forward to the next big holiday (hand made christmas!).
I am thankful for many things. Too many to write about. Too many to share. Too many that are so entrenched in the fibers of my heart that putting it into words could render my heart useless. Those things, those very tender things are mine, and mine alone to savor and be grateful for and to cherish till my last breath on this earth.
I'm thankful we have food on the table every day, and that I don't have to worry about having enough money to buy groceries. I'm thankful for the house we live in and the jobs we have to afford our modest lifestyle. I'm thankful for rewarding work that makes me proud to do what I do and honored to serve the people I work with. I'm thankful for my creative outlet that give my hands something to do that renders some string into clothing.
These are the things we're all thankful for, the simple, obvious things. But what about the others? the bigger things? the deeper things?
I am thankful for my mother. She has always been my greatest champion, my staunchest believer, my cheerleader. She supports me no matter what. This is the mother I want to be.
I am thankful for my father. He has always had words of wisdom that held me up in hard times. He gives great hugs, and believes in me. He is the father I wish for Ryan to learn from.
I am thankful for my sisters. We've spent years antagonizing each other, and yet as adults have utmost respect for one another. They each live their lives in extra-ordinary ways, and are so full of love for their work and families. These are the aunts I want for my child.
I'm thankful for my friends from childhood. Hearts intertwined with mine from our most impressionable moments. Even when we drifted, or had differing views, we still loved, respected and supported each other. The fact that many of us suffered the same miserable fate of infertility gives me pause, both in a moment of horror (what was IN the water we drank growing up?) and laughter (at least we can joke about it, eh?). These are the people who helped me become who I am and who will help me become who I am going to be. These are the kinds of friends I wish for my child.
I'm thankful for my friends from adulthood. In some ways, these friends are the parts of my heart I have been looking for all of my life, and then upon meeting I recognized the missing puzzle piece. Friends who challenge me to think outside of the box, support my tired heart and my over burdened body, and hold me close even when they are far away. Many I haven't actually met in person but are a support and breath of fresh air none the less, and are more real on a computer screen or a telephone than some that live in my same town. These are the kind of friends I wish for my child.
I'm thankful for my husband. 14 years ago we met, and 13 years ago we were married, young and crazy and in love. We hardly knew each other, yet we knew everything we needed to know. I never expected we'd be challenged the way we have, and still come out loving, respecting, trusting that we were on the right path together. He is my rock, my power, my reason. He supports my choices, honors my feelings, trusts my heart. He is proud, strong and fierce in his love for me. This is the kind of love I wish for my child.
I am thankful for my child. She is a dream made real, a wish come true, perfection with brown eyes. She challenges me to dig deep for patience, and creativity and rewards me with nothing but joy. She reminds me that we are all perfect in our imperfections, even myself, and that she, like me, is amazingly lovable just. as. she. is. She causes me to laugh deep within my heart on a daily basis, and to take each day moment to moment because some of those moments are breathtaking. She reminds me that Holland is an amazing place to be, even if though not Italy. She is the reason for everything I do, every choice I make and everything that is right about my life.
She is the reason I still believe, I still have hope, and I still make wishes.
I am thankful for many things. What are YOU thankful for this year?