This year, I am thankful for family.
As I get older, I look in the mirror and see more of my mother each year. It isn’t a bad thing to see the woman who raised me to be myself in all my weird glory staring back at me. It’s actually an honor, and I am thankful for her unconditional love.
My mother in-law raised her son to respect women, and I get the payoff of her very hard work. United by the marriage of their children, she and my mother have become great friends. There is no drama between families; we blend holidays seamlessly without stress. They’ve both had serious health issues this year and I am thankful to have a job schedule which allows me time to spend with them both. Despite their continued struggle with evil remote controls and uncooperative computers, I am thankful that they remind me that all this new-fangled communication is no substitute for face to face lunches, dinners, and hugs.
I am thankful for my husband, and the fact that we have been married twenty years this November. We have weathered many storms: the deaths of our fathers, my cancer misadventures, his own health issues, financial woes and bizarre work schedules. And we are stronger for it. He encourages my dreams. I am thankful that I asked him first to marry me, and that we share the never-ending adventure that is parenthood.
I am eternally grateful for my children. They make me laugh, cry, give me grey hair, and I love (almost) every minute. As they grow into young adults, I am glad that we read to them when they were small, and that they share my love of books. I am thankful they are learning to be very good cooks, and I often benefit from their talents in the kitchen. And I am so very thankful that they are growing into people with compassion who are blind to differences, and can sometimes exist in the same room without World War III breaking out.
It makes me grateful for my brother, because we too fought like ninjas and pirates, and I know my children will survive and eventually be friends. I am also grateful that he found the “right one”, which has given me not only the experience of having a sister, but being an aunt to a fantastic niece and nephew.
Finally, I am so thankful for my friends, who are my extended family. No matter the distance between us, the long times between visits and phone calls, we are there for each other. No matter the philosophical differences, we are able to talk and agree to disagree. As we get older I am thankful for the memories we share, which keep me young at heart and in mind.
My gratitude definitely outweighs my regrets. And for that, I am most thankful.