Friday, November 7, 2014

Being Thankful





Before you sigh at another “thankful” article, get used to it.  November is going to be packed full of gratitude all month long and I couldn’t be happier!  I do however, wish the gratitude lasted at least into the New Year with society, but I’ll take what I can get and be thankful.



I personally have an aversion to November, despite its thankful presence.  This particular month brings about some sadness for me with the passing of my mom, three years ago.  My husband has lost two great uncles and a dear friend too.  I would have every reason to want to crawl up in a ball this entire month and bah-humbug this 11th month of the year.  But I’m not going to do that.  I am going to actually share with you, my readers, what I’m thankful for, even through my struggles, and hope that you too, maybe troubled yourself, can find the goodness all around you.



Despite the fact my mother is no longer present with me, I am thankful for the woman and mother I did get the opportunity to know and love.  Although as a grown woman, I feel I need her presence more than when I was a child, I am thankful I have memories I get to share with my children, her grandchildren, of the wonderful woman, mom, and grandmother she was.  I am indebted my mother chose life for me.  And I am thankful that although she’s gone, I can still feel her with me every single day.



I come from a family that is the definition of dysfunction.  You want to meet the poster child who belongs to that family?  Just glance down at my picture, that’s her!  But despite my family’s inabilities to know or even want to learn how to have a healthy relationship with one another, I am thankful for the family I married into.  Oh boy, have they saved my bottom!  From rescuing me from the pit of a once ugly past filled with poor choices, to supporting my endeavors (even if they are doomed to fail), to loving my children as their own, and to the persistence they each posses to keep us together, I am thankful for the small, but mighty army we are.



My kids drive me nuts and that’s not figuratively speaking either!  Since having five of those little critters, I have come to the realization that I’m supposed to be insane, kooky, wacky, and a screwball 90 percent of the time, it’s my right as their mother.  But despite their unfavorable influence on me, I’m thankful I have the ability to be a mom, their mom. I know there are countless women who don’t get the opportunity I do to have children and it saddens me.  Although I’d gladly hand my crew over to them several times a week, I genuinely am grateful for the moments I get to be “mom.”  And what I’m even more thankful for?  Knowing other moms might need Xanax or Prozac too!


I used to cringe at the saying, “Friends are the family you choose.”  Now really?  Friends can’t possibly ever be as close and loyal as family; blood is thicker than water.  I’m here to say I am thankful for those friends, they are thicker in ways blood could never be.  My best friend might live six hours away in a town that smells like poo and they don’t even have a Target, but she’s the woman who defends me, is my shield, and loves me unconditionally.  Or my other friend who is old enough to be my mother; she loves me mighty and fierce, despite her own battles in life.  Thank you ladies for allowing me to truly believe in, friends are the family I’ve chosen.


My life is far from perfect, far from put together.  But I am thankful I have this life.  I am thankful I am genuinely happy...well…except a few days out of each month.  But despite how my life appears on the outside,(perfect I know), I am just a woman who is thankful for all I have.  I am blessed not only this particular month of November, but also every month.  Because I know even though I have scars, battle wounds, and a heart that has bled one too many times, I have a drive so fierce in me to be thankful for all the good I have, despite what may come my way.  Why?  Because it makes me cheerful to see the good in things, in spite of the “bad” that surrounds me.  I’d like to say my glass of life is half full.  Now if only that glass was constantly filled with a tasty red, then I’d have more to be grateful for.



 *Article first appeared in Idaho Family Magazine*

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