When I awoke this morning I thought about the dreaded cooking, all the awful football games, the mess, the dishes and how my stomach was definitely going to burst after all the food I knew I would eat.
I got up and texted everyone in my cell phone address book, I signed on to Facebook and said my usual funny antidote about the day and read everything all my friends and family had to say about this day of thanks. Pretty much the usual stuff you would expect to read on Thanksgiving. Of course I am so thankful for all the same things my friends, my family, my husband, my life, my health, my kids, all those things go without saying.
Then as I stood in the kitchen in my apron on (pink of course) and my IPOD cranking a little of this and a little of that I thought about all the things I was really most thankful for......
I thought about the most wonderful 28 years I had with my dad. With his hair almost always sticking up somewhere for lack of combing it, his missing teeth and the ones he did have were probably rotten, his muscle shirt that most definitely had something ridiculous written on it, standing there with that most perfect smile. How he loved me in yellow, how he bought me a yellow dress from the Salvation Army when I was in first grade and how I wore it everyday until my mother threw it away. He was the most the most important man I would ever know and love.
I thought about my mother. The 39 cherished years I was blessed to be her daughter. How as a child I hated her, and one lucky day I realized she was my most bestest friend. The one person in this world who knew every detail of my everyday life. The person I couldn't wait to tell everything too. The woman who in her last moments was so worried something would happen to the things I asked for that she boxed up my dishes and wrote my name on the box and she safety pinned the ring I had given her years before to her bedroom curtain for me. The woman that changed my life and gave me everything I could ever hope to give my own kids.
I thought about my most thoughtful sister, Janna (banana)who I never really knew until last year. Her surprise visit for my birthday. She is beautiful, funny as crap and so giving. She has the most frigging awesome husband, Troy. He looks at me sometimes and I wonder what he is thinking. What lie had Banana told him?? He wears these huge belt buckles they make me smile - frigging hill billy. He always listens to me over facebook or on the phone when I am venting or sad, or crying. When someone in the family hurts me, I call him. He always says the perfect thing. They have truly been a gift.
I thought about my cherished sister, Sue (SuzyQ) who brought banana here to give us a chance to see the wonder in each other. The gift Sue gave me of a sister I never knew is inconceivable. She is so funny and beautiful (they say I look just like her) and my God the memories of her I have. That damn blind ass shetland pony named Suzy (SHOCKER) she always made me ride. She broke the first NEW toy I ever had. A big wheel she got on it and busted that thing immediately. Although at the time I was of course pissed, today that story makes me laugh and smile and think so fondly of the sister who has always loved me for exactly who I am.
My sister Liz (Lizzard)who has always visited me where ever I might live. She and I email each other everyday all day long while at work. We know everything about each other and everything that is going on daily. If she is off or I am the other is pissed. How in the world will we make it through the work day without chatting over email? She has made a new tradition and the coolest part is it includes me. Every year she fly's to my house for my birthday and we get our hair done with my hairdresser Fadi. No matter how broke she is, how little time she has off, or the fact she comes and leaves her husband home she comes to be with me.
My brother Gary for his insane humor. The texts and emails he sends that although usually are disgusting make me laugh. For the hundreds of voice mails he leaves me where he sings, tells me jokes, or rambles about absolutely nothing at all but does it to let me know he is thinking of me.
My brother Johnnie who gave me away when my father had died and couldn't. He stood by me on my most important day and made me feel like I was an angel. He comes every year for my birthday and although I won't admit I know he comes to see his twin sister too, would literally take his heart out of his body to save me.
I thought about my nephews and nieces that text me and tell me how much they love me for no reason at all. It's not my birthday, Christmas or any other special reason other than to them, I am special. Who can see a picture of one of my children and pick them out of a line up. For the fact that although the age and distance between us they never forget their Auntie.
My friend Kim who although the unimaginable thing that brought us together is anything but ideal, her friendship brightens my day. She is such a loving, kind, person and she truly brings a smile to my face every day. She makes me want to be a better person. No matter what, she is always happy (even if she's only pretending), and always trying to help others. She is an amazing person who I can only dream to be more like.
My high school friends who only really knew my past and the part of my future I write on facebook, but they read it, they look at my photos, they comment, they have opened their hearts up to me and found a place for me in their lives.
My Priest (my man in black), whom I know would be disappointed in my lack of attending Mass since the death of my mother, would not judge me, or make me feel like a lesser human, but would encourage me, tell me how forgiving God is. I never felt whole until I met and became to know Father White. I didn't know it was possible to actually become so attached to a Priest that Church never will be the same without him there.
And what about the things we complain about?? Are they not truly blessings but possibly in disguise? What would we be without them? Who would we be without them?
My ex - Andy. To him the man that literally can send me to the moon and back easier than anyone on the planet, to him I am thankful for the years of happiness we had together, and the two kids he gave me the pleasure to help raise. For making me feel special everyday when I was young and felt like I was the ugly duckling. For teaching me that I am a beautiful person and worthy of love.
Lets not forget his family. Larry, Patty and Becky who I love dearly. They opened their homes to me and gave me so many memories. Becky who was always like a little sister to me that I have to say makes better homemade bread then Wonder. Larry and Patty who I was more like another kid to pay for always included me in everything. I was never a burden to them, when things went south between Andy and I they were still good to me. Today they are my family and I theirs. I am truly thankful for that it's not often the case.
Thanksgiving is a day of reflection and thankfulness. What I realized today is there is so many more things to be thankful for than there are to not. My life although seemingly tiresome, black and almost always filled with drama, is actually full of love, laughter and life. Although there will be days of anger and depression I will try to spend even a minute everyday from here on out remembering these things.