My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Monday, November 24, 2008

my thanksgiving list

I'm watching the Friends episode called, "The One With the Wedding Dresses" where Monica, Phoebe and Rachel all dress in wedding dresses to feel special. I had a friend (who shall remain nameless) who used to put on an evening gown to clean house, complete with heels. He said it just made cleaning seem less unpleasant. Yes, he.

Speaking of men in evening gowns... many of you have asked why Purple Michael is called Purple Michael. My long time blog readers already know this but in my original blog people were color coded. Men were coded in blue, women in pink and same sex oriented people were in purple. There were three Michaels in my life - my brother Blue Michael (who I never talk about because I rarely see him- he lives in Chattanooga) and my soon to be ex-husband Orange Michael (orange because of the Gators) and my BFF, soul mate and true love, Purple Michael. Anyone who has ever met Purple Michael will testify that he is truly magical. He is an amazing, incredible, beautiful person who never fails to make me feel better. He is complicated, as all actors are... and we have been through more drama than most marriages... but he loves me better than anybody ever loved me and I love him with my whole heart.

I was so worried about being able to work today. I felt so crappy over the weekend... nauseated and dizzy and just ick... that I didn't see how I would possibly make it from 8am to 5:30 today... but I did! Now I have a junky cough starting up... and a headache... but I'm home in my happy little nest. God is good.

It was so dark, misty and cold on my way home from work. I don't mind that it's dark when I get home from work every day but I really hate driving home in the dark on these long country roads. I'm skeered that a deer is going to run out in front of me!

Austin is writing an essay for school about how change can be good. He's using the example of how going to so many different schools in the past few years has been good for him. He said that he learned how much easier things are for kids in "rich schools" versus in "poor schools". He said that he has learned to make friends and that he's been able to live near the beach and now in the mountains. I love his positive attitude because trust me, I carry a ton of mommy guilt about him moving so much!

Baby Eden's grandpa sent me a message telling me that she will soon be going home from the hospital! She is almost two months old... and definitely an answer to prayer!

After my last post someone asked about my stepson Bobby... he is reportedly doing very well, making good grades and handling things better than expected. He is not with his dad full time yet. He is still with his grandpa. Michael felt like it would be better to make the transition during the Christmas break. Bobby has a cellphone and his dad keeps in close contact with him. I'm sure they'll be fine.

There is a blog that I really enjoy. I started reading it long before the AOL journals were obsolete... it's a lady with triplets... and she is a fabulous photographer. I fancy myself to be a decent photographer but I can't hold a candle to her! Today she posted a new family picture and it's really precious.

I started thinking on my way to work today about Thanksgiving. I used to have a Thanksgiving tradition of writing an essay/email and sharing it with my friends and family listing the things I'm thankful for. We do our "thankful Thursday" in our blogs and that always feels great. I know I really enjoy reading others'. But this morning as I was thinking about the things I'm MOST thankful for, I realize that the things that matter the most aren't things.

Last Thanksgiving was the beginning of a downward spiral for me... I have a vivid memory of the police knocking on my door, because someone had called and told them I was a risk to myself. I convinced them that I was fine... even showed them the happy picture of Michael and I on our wedding day. That night a woman came from across the hall of our condo and hugged me... made sure I was ok...told me it was going to be alrigh. I never saw her again.

In April I had another low moment where I was sick with (ironically) a kidney infection and feeling so lonely and discouraged. One morning I got up for work and ... I'm not sure exactly what happened... one moment I was up and the next moment I was waking up on the floor. I don't know if I tripped or passed out or what... but I still have a knot behind my right eyebrow from it.

In June I had surgery for adenomyosis. It was a surgery I had known I needed to have for many years. It was a blessing to have health insurance and be able to take care of it. In June I also had a breast cancer scare. My doctor told me that my symptoms could not be anything but breast cancer. In the end... they found nothing.

I've had about five thousand dollars worth of dental work in the past three years... all of it necessary and painful.

I had "the thing" removed from my forehead. You can see it in my older pictures... it was a nevus sebaceous... precancerous... and I had it since I was ten... and now it's gone and there's just a very faint scar.

And in September I survived a suicide attempt that ... if it had gone fifteen minutes the other way, I wouldn't be here to be thankful for anything. God is good.

This year I lost my friend and sob sister, Misty, the mother of my stepson. Most people who read my blog can name at least one person who is dear to them that they have lost in the past year.

This year, I'm thankful for life... in a way I could never have explained a year ago. Life is a blessing, a gift, an honor... and I hope I am worthy of the resurrections I have been afforded over the past year.

I'm thankful this year for love.... unconditional... everlasting... true love. I'm thankful for the love of mothers for their children... of children for their mothers... I'm thankful that although love has passed me by, that there is still love out there. I believe in love. I believe in happily ever after. I believe in faithfulness and honesty and pure, honest, all encompassing love and I'm thankful for the opportunity to find it one day.

I'm thankful for acts of kindness... from Miss Anne's peach bread to money for gas to help me move... to my big brother being willing to take a break from his busy life to come pack me up. To A.T. listening to show tunes while we drove up out of Florida and then being willing to go back with me two weeks later to get a few more things. I'm thankful for sacrifice. For BFF's... that people who shared my life 30 years ago are still in my life. That is an honor and a blessing. I'm not sure that I deserve that kind of loyalty but I'm grateful.

I'm thankful for the hope of Jesus Christ... for salvation... for the change I've seen in my brother-in-law since he gave his life to Christ... for the change I've felt in me since I turned my eyes back to Jesus. I'm thankful for scripture that guides and leads and gives us hope. Hope. Forgiveness. Second chances. New mornings. Sunrises. Sunsets. Mountains. Oceans. Beauty. Peace.

God is good. Let me just tell you, if you haven't figured it out yet, God is good.

I'm thankful for hugs... for hands to hold... for waterproof mascara... for my bed... for a kitchen full of dishes that someone else bought... I'm thankful for my iron skillet that has lived everywhere I have lived since 1989. I'm thankful for the Christmas ornaments that have been with me. For continuity. For new beginnings. I'm thankful for Grandma's bible that speaks to me beyond her grave. I'm thankful for the wisdom and beauty of my grandmother that is still alive and thriving at 85.

I'm thankful for phone calls. I'm thankful for my cellphone - I can't afford it - I'm blessed and grateful that my husband is still paying for it. I'm thankful for internet and satellite and other ways to reach out to the world beyond my nest. I'm grateful for emails.

I'm thankful for my church. For so many years I didn't feel like I could belong anywhere. Then in the midst of my brokenness I went into Helen First Baptist Church and there was love. There was acceptance. When, in my most crumpled, woundedness tears flowed down my cheeks by the gallon, I'm thankful that there was a hand that reached to mine... and an altar to bow down... and hugs from Godly women who not only cared about my pain but truly felt it.

I'm thankful for men who clean house in evening gowns. That life is silly and ridiculous and that things happen that are completely illogical and out of context. I'm thankful for the ability to laugh... laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.

If you're reading this... if you've made it through all of this... if you've ever cared what happened to me, wondered what happened to me, been a part of this crazy story, I'm thankful for you. My love to all of you! Happy Thanksgiving!


Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Heather. I love you!

Myra said...

What an inspiring list of "thanks"...for the big things, and for the small things we take for granted!

Remo said...

Right now I believe I'm thankful for such a great posting! Life has a way of poking us in the butt sometimes.

Have a great week!

slj said...

Great entry. I am so glad to hear that Austin has such a positive attitude. And yes, I know the Mom he seems to be doing fine.
Yes, God is Good!

Ericanbiloxi said...

If a man is cleaning....he can wear a gown or anything else that motivates him! lol that is some cheap entertainment hehehe
I am thankful for you, your entries are always from the heart.

Big Mark 243 said...

... I stopped wearing my Mom's dresses when I was about 4 or 5 ...

well, enough about me. this was very nice of you to share. I am sure I am not the only person to find something of themselves in here, and to be thankful for as well.

Tina of Moon Shine said...

happy thanksgiving!