I made a thanksgiving resolution to find something to be thankful for every day until next Thanksgiving. Here is what I’m thankful for this week!
Wednesday: as I often do while running, I took the time to appreciate and be thankful for my health and ability to run, despite the fact I kinda hate it (running, not the ability to do it). As is with most things, it’s easier to appreciate something after it’s gone (youth, loved ones, etc), so I’m trying to appreciate my strong legs while I’ve got them.
Thursday: Without meaning to, I slipped off my pants without even unbuttoning or unzipping them and then I did a little happy dance in my undies (please don’t make a mental picture of this, or if you do, at least imagine I have really thin thighs and no cellulite). This pair of corduroys has gotten so loose it’s no longer necessary to unzip them before taking them off, and although I’m sad I can no longer wear them without looking sloppy, I’m so happy about what that means: I’m shrinking!
Friday: We celebrated my hubby’s birthday so of course he was most present in my mind this day as what I was thankful for. He has made me insanely happy almost from the day I met him and I don’t know what I would do without him. (Please tell me if you’ve ever done this because I think I’m weird: sometimes if I’m reading a book where a spouse dies, or even sometimes randomly, I try to imagine what life would be like without Dennis and I start crying. I know I would ultimately survive without him, but I just don’t want to. I don’t think I could love anyone else like I love him. Please, God, take us at the same time!!)
Saturday: I was grateful to get off work in time to go to a holiday party at our preacher’s house. This is a video of our oldest member, June (I think she’s 92-94), opening up the gift my husband brought for the white elephant gift exchange. Before I started taking the video, she had already pulled out a stack of vintage Creepy comic books, candy, a jar full of nails, and two cans of coke. You have to watch and see the last thing she gets!
Sunday: I was so thankful for a day off! Although we didn’t work long hours last week, we only have one day off a week in December. It was nice to spend a day with my husband and my Church family.
Monday: I finally got my hair cut seven months after my last! Since it had gotten pretty nappy, I had her take off a lot more than I usually would and I’m really happy with the results. I only wish I could have gotten it colored too but that can wait. At least the nappies are gone. :)
Tuesday: This Thanksgiving resolution gets me thinking every day about what I’m thankful for and today I was thinking about how I could be thankful for something I usually am not. And that thought led me to consider my Mother.
Usually the thought of her evokes sadness, frustration, and anger, but I put all the bad stuff out of my mind and thought about how I could be thankful for her. First I thought of the usual things. I’m thankful to her for being a responsible parent and for instilling a good sense of right and wrong in me and for placing importance on not only my education, but on excelling in everything I did.
Then as if a switch had been flipped, I was taken back to the day I was hospitalized with diabetes. It was so bad (my fasting blood sugar was over 600 and I had lost thirty pounds in three months without dieting) that I was in the ICU for two days and in the hospital for a week. My mother was with me every day except for the second, when she was overcome by the situation and couldn’t bring herself to leave her bed. (She suffers from many mental illnesses but she found the strength to help me despite the stress it caused her.)
She watched the educational videos with me, made me get up regularly to take short walks to build my strength back up (I had to be pushed in a wheelchair into the hospital because I was too weak to walk at that point), and was a great comfort to me during a very hard time in my life. When it was time to learn to give myself insulin injections, I was so nervous and scared that I nearly passed out as I sat with the needle poised over my stomach. My Mom was there with her own syringe filled with saline solution and she said, “let’s do it together on the count of three,” and that was the only reason I was able to do it.
Thinking about all this at work, I just started balling. (Thankfully, since most of us listen to audiobooks while we work, a woman crying over a sad story is not unusual and no one paid me the slightest attention.) I repented right then and there for all the resentment I harbor toward my mother. Despite her mental illness, my Mother always did her best and I think I turned out pretty decent despite all the traumas, and I really think she deserves most of the credit for that.
My aim is to keep this memory close to my heart so it’s easier to bear her during the bad times.