THANKFUL!

 

8.22.12

11/24/11

    Today is Thanksgiving and in the spirit of the season I am counting my many blessings,

but this seems to pose a slight problem… there are far to many to count! I am grateful

for a lot of things in my life, on a daily basis I find myself at the strangest moments

overwhelmed with gratitude for basic things that so many people don’t have. Clean

water, food, a comfy bed, the freedom to choose how I live my life, showers, soap and

shampoo, coffee, health, mobility, shoes and clothing, safety, peace, not living in fear

from day to day. All of these often top my list of things I am glad to have on a daily basis

because so many people will never know the simple pleasures these things can bring to

ones life. I joke a lot, sarcasm is practically my first language, so it would surprise a lot

of people that on the inside I am just a mushy pile of sensitivity. Quite simply I want to

adopt all of the worlds orphans and feed them cake and dress them in pretty clothes

and then tuck them all into warm safe beds at night. It’s ok that this might shock those

who don’t know me that well, I don’t let too many people see that side of me, the side

that secretly wants to save the world. As thankful as I am for all of these things, they are

just that, things. I find myself, more and more each day, most thankful for the amazing

people that I am blessed to know and love, and that love me back…

I am thankful for my family. We recently spent a few days with my sister, brother in law

and two nieces at their home in Florida. We didn’t get the chance to grow up together,

my sister and me. But I am thankful that now, as adults, we can crawl in bed together

and watch trashy reality shows while getting to know each other and making up for lost

time. We can laugh like little girls in our pajamas and do what sisters do, this makes me

happy! I am thankful for my brother in law who makes her happy and is a great dad to

my nieces. I am thankful for my nieces, two sweet, funny girls who are two very different

personalities… I can’t wait to see who you grow to be! I am thankful for my parents who

have always been there for me and believe I can do whatever I want with my life. On the

way home from my sisters we stopped to eat, my Mom said “So what else is on this list

of yours that you want to do?” I named off a few things like get a tattoo and go to Vegas

before I dropped the big ones like “Meet Oprah!” to which she replied without hesitation

“I can see that happening!” I said “Oh yeah, well have dinner with David Cook is on the

list too, can you see that happening?” to which my dad responded without hesitation “I

can definitely see that happening!” In that moment I thought WOW, here I sit with two

people who think what looks like the impossible for most people is totally possible for

me… How many people can say that? How many people are that lucky? I have never

felt more fortunate and loved, because you could see in their eyes that they believed

every word they said, they meant it and for that deep unconditional confidence and love

I am thankful! And finally I am thankful for my grandparents, when I look at all the

hardships they have faced in life it makes me want to live life that much harder to

experience the things they never had the chance to. Their generation for the most part

didn’t get to follow their dreams, they did what they had to do to survive and it wasn’t

always an easy life. I stood on a cliff on the coast of northern California and watched the

sun set earlier this year and all I could think was “God, my Mammaw would have loved

to see this!” I carry that with me almost everywhere I go and it makes me even more

grateful for every experience and for that I am thankful!

I am thankful for four little boys who light up my life more than they will ever know. I

didn’t physically give birth to them but they are my babies! The first, Chandler, came into

my life when I was 21. I guess God knew what he was doing when he made Chandler

because he came at a time in my life when I needed a little joy and he has brought

sunshine to my days ever since. He is a quiet, sensitive soul, always observant of every

detail, always looking out for his little brothers. The second, Trey came a year later, he

is sweet and cuddly with a fiery red headed temper:) When he hugs me it’s like warm

sunshine all over. I always tell them “I love you to the moon and back, always and

forever” Trey topped that by telling me he “loves me all the way to heaven and then to

he’ll and then back” he’s a funny boy. The third, Tyvan, likes to hug you tight around the

neck and whisper things you can’t possibly understand. If you look away while he’s

talking he puts his hands on your face and redirects your attention straight back to him

and then grins and giggles. The fourth, Phoenix, came last January as my fellow

Aquarius. He was a cuddle bug. I can’t wait to see his little personality develop, they are

all so different, it will be interesting to see what he brings to the mix. I am thankful for all

the love and joy they bring to my life. I am thankful for their mommy who gave me the

chance to be their godmother and let’s me love them so much. We were talking one day

about Chandler and something we had done together and she said “You know he

adores you right?” I said “Awww that’s sweet!” and she said “No really, I’m serious, he

truly adores you!” When I’m feeling down I think about that, somewhere there’s a little

boy who loves me so much, he adores me:) And if that doesn’t work I think about the

time I said “I’m leaving boys, come give me a hug” and they dropped their toys, left their

friends and all three at the time came running and collectively wrapped themselves

around my legs and squeezed me tight for a long time. That was like a wave of love

from head to toe and for that I am thankful!

I am thankful for my amazing friends! Without them I would not laugh as much as I do,

or have nearly as much fun. I would surely lose my sanity if I couldn’t share my good

times and my bad times with these special people. They each bring something different

to the table, I will hear or see something and think “Oh I’ve got to tell Lori this” or “I have

to show Torey that” or “Mary-Alice will love this”… I can always count on Lori and Torey

for a life altering trip to Waffle House where we will discuss the latest gossip and ponder

the great mysteries of life. Nothing like a slab of bacon with a side of religious philosophy,

sprinkled with outrageous laughter:) and Mary-Alice I’ll get to you later. Old friends are

just as important now as they were way back when, they keep you connected to your

past even if you don’t see them nearly enough. Mindy, Lindsay and Anna you were my

high school BFFs and I treasure the memories we share. High school would not have

been nearly as fun without you guys, I miss you and think about you guys often. We

have got to get together soon and reminisce about the good ol’ days. Felicia you’re like

my little sister, have been since that weekend you spent at my house back in 1995, I am

so glad God brought you into my life! You gave me babies lol, and I will be forever

grateful for them and you. To my work buddies, you make me laugh daily, and for this I

am thankful. Without you I would surely kill someone, and then get fired, so thanks for

the laughs! And Mary-Alice, I really don’t know what I would do without you… In the past

3 years you have become more than I ever expected. I can’t really remember my life

without you, but I know it is way better with you in it! You have become one of my very

best friends, my travel buddy and my biggest supporter in such a short time. You have

traveled many miles by plane, by car and sometimes by foot all in an effort to make me

a happy girl. There has never been a time that I proposed some sort of crazy scheme

that you refused, you’re always right there, ready to go, pushing me to go get my

dreams. You will never know how much that means to me. You never make me feel

weird or crazy, no matter the situation. I know if I called you at 3am and said I need you

now, you would come running, then help me bury the body and then take me out for

frozen hot chocolate:) I could say “Hmmm… I think I’ll run for president next November”

and you would probably mobilize the troops and have a full fledge campaign running

within hours. Everybody needs someone in their life like you and I am one lucky girl

because of all your love and support. You will never know how happy I am that you are

a part of my crazy life, for you I am truly thankful!

And finally I am thankful for the opportunity to live the life I want and all the possibilities

it holds. The people around me support my goals and dreams, no matter how crazy they

may be. I was driving down the road one day thinking about all the people I know that

would love to travel, or pursue a new career, or make changes in their lives but for

whatever reason can’t or won’t. I was taken by surprise at how grateful I was just for the

ability to pursue my dreams. I may not have my dream job right now but it affords me

the opportunity to do a lot of the things I want to do. This is a simple pleasure that many

aren’t fortunate to have and I am thankful for the opportunity to chase my dreams!

I am truly blessed with so many amazing things in my life and even more amazing

people and for all of this I am truly a happy and thankful girl! Happy Thanksgiving, I

hope it’s a great day for all!

 

 

 

What are you all grateful for? Please share! amduke25@yahoo.com