Today is traditionally the beginning of the holiday season. This year has been anything but normal, so like me, many of you may not be in your usual state of mind. I’m struggling with being joyful right now as so many are still dying from this horrible pandemic; as a country, we are divided because of our politicians; and I’m due thousands of hugs I wasn’t able to get this year from my friends. Yes, that last part is genuine for me…I’m a hugger!
This morning, I want to focus on the good in my life that happened this year, despite everything else.
1. I’m alive! As a two-time cancer survivor, there was a time the odds were not in my favor. Plus, every time something hurts, or when my migraines get worse, I’m off for tests to make sure cancer hasn’t returned. That’s a lot of stress! Today, my feet are on this side of the ground, and for that, I’m SOOOO thankful.
2. My family. Although we don’t always see eye-to-eye, and yes, this year has been challenging for both of us, my husband is my Prince Charming and my best friend. I’m thankful we met twenty years ago, and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He’s my forever.
My daughter has grown up to be one of the most amazing, loving, intelligent woman, I know. She has the patience of a saint when it comes to her children. She’s an unbelievable mommy. It hasn’t always been easy for her to have a mom that worked three jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. Although I’ll always be mom, we’re friends too. When I got the call in the middle of the night, my husband was in the hospital after hitting his head while visiting his family in another country, it was her I called hysterical and afraid. She came and stayed the night with me; role reversal. I’m so very proud of her, and thankful the good Lord saw that she would be the strength I needed at such a young age to keep me on the right path.
My grandchildren…oh, how they fill my heart. When I was first diagnosed at 35, my daughter was 15. I wanted to see her graduate high-school, get married, and fulfill her dream of having a family one day. Every time they come running when they see Nana, it makes my heart skip a beat and brings tears of happiness. There was a time I didn’t know I’d be here to feel their little arms around my neck. I’m thankful that I am.
3. Friends…although this is a separate block, my friends are my sisters—my family, too. One of my closest friends is dealing with a lot of pain as cancer spreads throughout her body. I met her in my breast cancer support group. It’s bittersweet…had I not got cancer, I would never have met her. That’s the one part of cancer I’m thankful for, so many wonderful people have come into my life as a result. We’ve known each other for twenty-two years now. While it’s so hard to see her hurting like she is, I’m thankful today, her feet are also on this side of the ground. My other friends/sisters are always there for me no matter how long it’s been since we’ve talked, no matter how crazy life is…we can depend on each other. I’m thankful for the bonds we have, the memories we’ve made, and the laughter we’ve yet to have together. You make my life complete—I love you all so much—I’m so thankful you are in my life.
I love my life, hiccups and all. I love the parts that are exactly the way I want them and the parts that teach me lessons—especially in patience and humility. My life is not perfect, and that’s what makes it exactly as it should be. I’m thankful for the imperfections, the wounds, and scars. My past has not been easy, but it’s those experiences that have made me who I am today, and I like that person—a lot! Life’s lessons have given me the strength to tackle the challenges I face today.
At this moment, I may not be 100% into the holiday spirit, but I know in a few hours I’ll feel those tiny arms around my neck, and that will bring pure joy to my heart. I’m thankful for my past, my present, and the adventures my future holds for me. Life is a gift! Family and friends are precious. Today let’s try and put the ugliness aside, be smart and stay healthy, and most of all, be thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Much love XOXOX