It goes without saying I am eternally grateful for my wonderful family and friends. But of course, as is usual with the way I see things, it goes deeper than that for me.
I look back on last year and remember hosting dinner at our house with my in-laws and very close family friends. We spent the whole afternoon cooking together, laughing together, making fun of Steve and I trying to strain the gravy together (remember that guys?) Then we all squished around our tiny table in our too-small kitchen and one by one talked about what we were all thankful for. I for one, was just so thankful to be there, with all of them. This year those cherished people are far away from us, but I am so thankful for them and the memories of that day.
This Fall saw my best friend's step-father involved in a near-fatal motorbike accident that left him paralyzed, on breathing tubes and in ICU for almost a month. But alive. I am deeply saddened that this happened to such a wonderful, loving, funny and caring human being - but I am thankful he is alive and will continue to bring joy to his wife, his grandchildren and his many friends.
Two weeks ago I received news that a close friend's grandmother had passed away. While this is tragic news of course, I am grateful it was peaceful passing at the ripe old age of 80. I am thankful for having known her in years past and for the memories that will keep me laughing for years to come. She leaves behind a large family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and I am so thankful she got to cherish them for as long as she did.
Last weekend Steven and I celebrated our 12th anniversary. Although I logically know it has indeed been 12 years since that beautiful candle-lit ceremony, I find it very hard to believe so many years have passed. The truth is I am thankful every day for having fallen in love with such a wonderful man; I often say that I am a lucky girl and I truly believe it to be true. I am grateful for every anniversary we have, every holiday we spend together and every moment he looks at me with his heart on his sleeve. I'll never know what I did to deserve him, but I am thankful nonetheless.
I am thankful for Rhian's smiley face the moment she wakes up, for Owen's little hand that seeks mine out when we walk down the street side by side. For Morgan's head resting on my shoulder as we watch tv together, for the laugher that erupts over the smallest comment at the dinner table. The random and unexpected I love you's I get from all my kids from time to time, good night kisses, good morning hugs....the list goes on and on. I am of course thankful that they are all healthy and well adjusted human beings, but I am also deeply thankful that I get to fall in love with their father all over again every time I look into their eyes and see parts of him there.
One hates to be thankful for material things, but I don't discount how fortunate we are to be able to provide for our children like we can. We have a roof over our heads, everything we need (and many things we don't) to live a comfortable life so I will not forget to give thanks for that.
To say I am thankful for family sounds so simple, when in fact it encompasses so much. My parents who have loved me and supported me my whole life, the wonderful family I married into who have made me feel like one of them from the very beginning. The extended family I grew up with was not a particularly close one, but with marriage came an onslaught of much-loved aunts, uncles and cousins that I thank God for every day. And then there's our military family. I have said it before and I'll say it again: we have been so blessed to have met so many wonderful families throughout our years in Greenwood, and now even our short month in Petawawa. The memories I have, the experiences we've shared, the friendships we've nurtured - I cherish them all and am so very, very thankful to have them.
When it comes to friends, I have been a greedy girl. I have managed to keep friends from all stages of my life, in one way or another, and for this I give many thanks. I still converse with friends I went to went to grade 2 with, friends I had through my nerve-wracking junior high years and the boy-crazy high school years. I have friends from university, college, several work places and countless random gatherings. I have friends I've met through my husband, from the neighborhoods we've lived in and friends met through my children. I have no intention of slowing down this collection, but felt the need to recognize them all.
This year we prepare to host our first out-of-town company in our new house and the excitement is palpable. We will sit around our brand new dining room table in our brand new dining room and remember all the people who matter to us in so many ways. We will go around the table and say what we are all thankful for and this time when I say, "family and friends", I will know I have spent my moment thinking of you all, and being grateful for everything and everyone I love.
To all my beloved friends and family all around the world: Happy Turkey Day!!