Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful, everyday

Thanksgiving, according to Wikipedia: summarized: "an annual tradition since 1863, when during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26.  The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated to give thanks to God for guiding them safely to the New World. The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days.  The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was given by the Continental Congress in 1777 and since December 26, 1941, Thanksgiving has been the fourth Saturday in November--for economic reasons.  Thanksgiving was originally a religious observance for all the members of the community to give thanks to God for a common purpose.  

That's the nerd portion of this the WIKI link above if you wish to be an expert on the subject of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving, according to Bruce T:

To some, today will be the busiest travel day of the year, stuck in traffic giving a fellow traveler the thanksgiving bird--pun intended. For many, today is a precursor to the busiest shopping day of the year and a day to map out a battle plan to overdose on "door buster" deals during their annual consumer binge of epic proportions. Some of you will be off to a dreaded family event full of forced smiles, superficial hugs, and half gripped hand shakes.  For Green Bay Packer fans, it will be an afternoon filled with stress and emotion hoping for an 11-0 standing @ Detroit.

I will be spending the entire day with my cherished family and friends.

Most of us could come up with 100 things we ARE NOT thankful for right now, but not me. I refuse. I could give you 100 plus things I AM thankful for right now.  Lucky for you, I want you to continue to read my blog posts and not be bored.

For me, today is a day, like every other day, that I can find much to be thankful for, no holiday needed. Despite the pain and loss that came earlier this year, I am thankful everyday for:

Three amazing children.  During such a difficult year, their resilience and strengths inspire me and everyone they come in contact with.  Three amazing faces staring back at me, giving me the strength I need to relentlessly push forward.   Their minds and hearts continue to grow, they are great students, well behaved children, we are all extremely proud of them.

Jodi and the life we shared.  Ten years of memories crammed into 28 months.  My eyes have never been this wide open.  I have never looked at the world in the positive ways I do now.  So many unimportant things that once were big, have become small and rendered irrelevant.  I am soaking in and appreciating every single moment of every single day.  Thankful for the time we were given, and that through Jodi's eyes, I learned to truly live in the moment.  Living for today, not worrying about tomorrow, and letting yesterday be just that--yesterday. 

Family,  not just my given family, but also my family of choice.  And it is huge.  I have the loving family I was born into, I have Jodi's amazing family, and I have my closest friends.  All of those things combined make up the strongest support network anyone can have, and for that, I am also truly thankful.

Friends.  Old and new.  It has been an amazing year on the subject of friends.   I can't even begin to count the numbers.  During the past seven months, friends have just appeared out of nowhere at a time when they were much needed.  Funny how that works, you are always there when I need you.  In April, I was truly amazed by the support coming in from all directions.  I reconnected with old friends, made new friends, even found friends in the most unlikely places.  Suddenly, friendships and support were coming in from people I have not seen or heard from since Jr. High School, and even more amazing, I made friends with people I still have not even met, but know from their support, posts, pictures and comments on Facebook.  I even have friends through business circles that exist entirely on a phone. Either way, whether you are a friend I see face to face, a friend from my past, or a friend I only know through Facebook or a telephone, I am thankful you are there.  Your friendship combined with my above mentioned family is truly an amazing network of people that I am thankful to have in my life. 

Lincoln Middle School students and staff.  The school honored Jodi during their annual Cancer Walk this year and asked me to be a guest speaker, as Jodi was last year.  I am thankful for the emails and feedback from the staff and students about how my words inspired them all.  Particularly,  a special needs sixth grade student that took the time to personally write me a letter.  I was told by staff that I have encouraged this student for the rest of life after speaking about the positive ways Jodi and I dealt with a very difficult situation.  In this letter, the student says "....and you see this letter, you give me a tight hug and say  "it was my pleasure to influence you". And float into the night and I feel like I have been given a gift. I believe you will. Thank you".  I will never be able to put into words what that means to me.  To have touched a life on such a level is an amazing feeling.  This child's letter will forever be one of my most cherished possessions. 

Thank you all for being a part of my life.  Everyday gets better than the last.  The last several weeks have been very good.  I am getting back to me and finding my way again.  You are all a part of making that possible.  I wish you all a great Thanksgiving, and like me, I hope you all find something to be thankful for, not only today, but everyday.

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