Today, there are many, many things I could say that I am thankful for, and most would be the basic things that everyone is thankful for. However, I wonder if the reasons I am thankful for these things are the same that others are thankful for theirs. So, I have decided that I will not only tell you what I am thankful for, but also why I am thankful for them.
First and foremost, as it must be for everyone, I am thankful for my husband and children. I remember a time when I had given up on love, on men, and on all mankind. I was reckless and suicidal, although I would have never admitted that then. I had been married right out of high school, but that marriage did not last due to the endless abuse that I had faced every day. That marriage left me forever scarred both emotionally and physically.
I remember one night damning life, myself, and God. I tried so very hard to end my life that night, but the bottle of pills wore off and though I had left myself unprotected from that cold autumn air lying in the bottom of a damp ditch where I passed out, I woke up lucid and warm. I dragged my weary body to the bathtub, cleaned myself up, and went to work. This is the day that DJ walked into my life, and there he has been for over twenty years now.
It was not long after, that I learned the doctors were wrong in telling me that my tubes were blocked from scar tissue, and I would never be able to conceive or carry a child. A little over a year of meeting DJ, Damien was part of our lives as well. I struggled so hard during that pregnancy to not lose my child and my own life due to the early onset of toxemia, that I had carefully prepared to have my tubes tied. However, God had other plans for me once again.
Blinded, I found myself in the doctors office trying to determine what was causing my loss of eyesight. As routine for a woman considered child bearing age, a pregnancy test was done. This was the day I learned I had been blessed with another child. This, too, was a difficult pregnancy, and the toxemia hit with full force. Doctors pleaded with me to abort the child and warned that if I did not, I would lose my life and my baby’s. Stubbornly, I resisted and told the doctors, “If I am not meant to have this baby, I will miscarry.” And, on his brother’s first birthday, Dylan graced our family with his presence. Dylan was healthy and very happy. So, I am thankful for my stubbornness. Without it, my family would not be complete.
You see, I am thankful for these three wonderful men because I almost had none of them; and without them, I am unsure that I would be able to call that kind of living a life. There have been a few bumps along the way, a few downright scares, but I would not trade any of it for the world. These men have made me who I am today.
I am also thankful for the many friends and family, who I carry with me each and every day. I am thankful that I have a mother that I can come to when I really need someone to be there for me. I am thankful that mom brought Gary into our lives, and I am proud to call him my step father. I am thankful I have a sister that reminds me not to take life too seriously and to have fun. I am thankful to have a brother that has been a wonderful role model for my sons. I am thankful for Mistey, my closest friend, another sister. I am thankful for my many cousins, aunts, and uncles. I am thankful for my grandparents, without which none of us would be here. Although he was taken from us too soon, I am thankful for my Dad. Each and very single one of them have molded me into the person I am, and they continue to help me change and grow into a more wise individual.
Secondly, I am more than grateful that I have been blessed with a home. I remember a time when we had none. We had to rely on family, who I am thankful for, to take us in. This was a path that neither of us chose or expected. DJ had injured himself; and with his injury, he lost his career. Work was scarce, the economy was breaking, and I had just begun the process of starting school. I attempted to put school off when DJ told me, “You have put school off for everyone else. I’ll be damned if you put it off for me.” This was a very difficult time for my little family because we had lost everything. Just before his injury, both of our cars had broken down. We had nothing but each other. However, I am thankful for that as well. We learned that material things, were just things that can be replaced. We also learned that happiness is not found in things, but other people. It was a good lesson to learn and a a good lesson to teach our children.
Finally, I am thankful for a job. Before I found my job working with Child Protective Services in 2010, I had looked for work for more than eighteen months, and two thousand resumes. Nothing upon nothing came my way. I found the job as an Investigator, and worked there until it begun ripping my family apart. The long hours, working from the time I got up until I went to bed, and the stress weighed heavily on all of us. Many of the hours I put into the job were unpaid because deadlines had to be met, and the caseloads were too high. Reluctantly, I had to walk away from the job in an effort to preserve my health, family, and sanity.
It took me three years to find another job. I had several managers tell me my applications wouldn’t be looked at because I had a college degree. I had several others tell me that I was over-qualified. None of them wanted to hear that I was willing to do any job and stick with it to keep my home and food in the stomaches of my children. That is until I interviewed at the bank. I am thankful that they gave me a chance at a career, that I absolutely love. And the best part, is I work in a department where I get to do what I love best, help people.
So, you see, I am thankful for the same things that many of you are. But now, you know why I am grateful for those things, because I have learned over the years to take none of them for granted. They can all be taken from you when you least expect it. But, through determination and strong will, I have learned how to survive through it all.