Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I started a new tradition. I asked my friends and family to write down 5 things that they are most thankful for in their lives. I thought it would be fun to look back on how our priorities change over the years and see what we appreciated at different points in our lives.

This year, (and I hope every year) I am most thankful for my family, all my family. My immediate family, my brother, who has given me a beautiful niece and nephew to spoil, my extended family who has helped in ways I can't even fathom, my family who has passed on but are still close in our hearts, my new family that has welcomed me as a Sartell, and my family who has no blood relations at all, but whom I love dearly, as though their blood runs thick through my veins. They make me who I am and love me for all my faults. My wonderful husband and best friend whom I've know since I was six years old, has been there for me through all my ups and downs and has supported me unconditionally. And for my mom, who is there no matter what, who has a smile on her face even when the world is crashing down around her, and who neglects herself to make us all the best we can be.
I lost my dad this past March after a long hard battle with kidney failure. His passing has made me realize what's really important in life, and that no amount of wealth or material objects can bring him back. Treasure the time you have with your loved ones, they are precious moments. It it amazing the way God has always blessed me with time. He has this strange way of allowing me to be where I should be when life comes at me like a dagger.When I was 18, I hurt my back, and missed 48 days of school. It had always been important to me to be a good student, but because of the injury, I almost didn't graduate. It was an extreme struggle to stay current with my school work when all I could do was lie flat on the floor. I thought my life was falling apart, all the work I had done over the years to keep up my grades and participate in school activities seemed like it was for nothing. I was missing out on all the fun things you do your senior year, I gained weight, and barely made it to the prom. During this same time my grandma was diagnosed with Multiple Myloma a type of bone cancer and came to live with us. The blessing comes in the odd occurrence that while I was home, and not in school,  I was able to spend countless hours with my grandma. We watched Mr. Bean re-runs, Benny Hill, and cheezy horror films. We would cheer each other on as we each did our therapy exercises, and she would sit and tell me stories of her childhood, living in Canada and the Upper Peninsula. She passed away that Christmas Eve. Looking back, though at the time it seemed my life was horrible, I was blessed with the time I got to spend with her.
The same thing happened with my dad. I lost my job the year before he got really sick, though it made things hard financially, (thank God Zach still had his job) at the same time, I was able to be there for my family in a way that I wouldn't have been able to, had I been at work every day. God works in mysterious ways.

Secondly, I am thankful for my animals, who are really just extended members of our family. Our animals bring such joy to my life. They bring an unassuming happiness the way children do. And they are there for me when my family can't be.

Thirdly I am thankful for the opportunity to write and create. I have wanted to be a writer/ artist for as long as I can remember and feel blessed that through the support of my husband, I am able to do what I love. Life is too short to spend your life doing something you hate.

Fourthly, I am thankful for our beautiful home that my parents built in the woods with all of our families memories, wildlife and a sense of peace that sometimes astounds me.

And last but certainly not least, my friends, who are always there to lend a hand, especially over the past year when my life has been a whirlwind at times. They are all so unique and talented in so many ways. They each inspire me to be a better person.

Maybe try this with your own family. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving and have thousands of things to be thankful for.

1 comment:

Camille said...

Such a moving post, Jen! Very beautiful. There is so much to be thankful for. Someone recently told me that it is the bad times that make the good times seem so much more meaningful. So true. Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving! Much love!

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