Thankful For…

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I’m not going to mince words: this was the shittiest year of my life. Losing my mom, my job, my dog (he’s alive but the super long story short is he got kicked out of my building and now lives with a friend’s mom in Georgia) and, oh yeah, let’s throw a breakup in there because why not? That. all. sucks. really. hard. 

And if I said that I’m not feeling pretty depressed pretty often, that’d be a lie. I think I’ve gotten to the point where I can at least hide it or push it to the side when I’m with people…but I’m having a pretty hard time.

With all of that being said: I do still have a lot to be thankful for.

I wrote two years ago how thankful I was for my mom and that her prognosis was good. I never thought I’d be writing two years later about her death, because I never thought she’d die that soon from ovarian cancer. It still feels like I’m talking about someone else. Because I can’t possibly be talking about my mom not being here, right? She was so strong and stubborn and healthy before she got sick, and thankfully my parents were able to afford the best care for her…and it still didn’t matter. 

But, as people sometimes remind me — I had 34 great years with her. I got so much love and beautiful memories in those 34 years — more than some people get in a lifetime with their moms, so I am so so grateful for that. She gave me so much of herself that will live on in me.

I’m grateful she gave me resilience. And a will to just keep fighting. Because of that, I’m still standing (even if it’s barely.)(JK I’m lying down on the couch writing this, as always.) 

I’m grateful for the lighthearted spirit she gave me. She loved watching Disney movies and called herself Tinkerbell. Meanwhile, when I’m sad, I turn on Finding Nemo or Frozen (you can tell that I don’t have a kid because I choose to watch Frozen.)

I’m grateful for the giving spirit she gave me. I mean, yes, I love gift-giving, but I mean that she would do anything in the world for those she loved, and so would I. I give a lot of myself to those I care about.

Grateful doesn’t feel like a strong enough word for how amazing my friends have been this year. Just before my mom died, a dear friend texted me “when you fall apart, we’ll be here to help put you back together.” And my friends have, crack by crack, step by step. I will never be the same person I was before I lost my mom, but I’m slowly getting back towards a new “normal.” 

I’m grateful for my relationship with my dad. I love him so much, and I admire how he cared for my mom day in and day out and didn’t leave her side while she was sick. We hadn’t been super close in my adulthood. I had a strong relationship with my mom, and we had a strong family dynamic, but my dad and I didn’t often call each other for no reason. Our relationship has come leaps and bounds since losing my mom.

I’m grateful for my therapist. I don’t know how I would have weathered this storm without having her as a resource to listen to me, to offer advice, to help me reframe some situations and look for the good amidst all this shit.

I’m grateful for running, and exercise in general as an outlet.

I’m grateful for writing: the writing I do here, the freelancing I’m doing, the journaling. 

I’m grateful for YOU all. I started this blog to document my weight loss (about that…), but the advice I’ve gotten from you at major hiccups in my life journey (looking at you 2017) 

And I’m most grateful for the strength this year has given me. While I’d gladly swap my mom for this strength, that’s not an option, and so I’ve had to stretch myself as a person, and I’m proud of the work I’ve done on myself.

What are you thankful for this year?

(I’m also thankful for yoga pants. Every single day.) 

9 comments on “Thankful For…

  1. sara

    Wish I could give you a hug and buy you a glass of wine. Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving and please know that it is always darkest before the dawn. Thank you for being an inspiration in running & determination. xo.

    Reply
  2. Laura

    This is my first time commenting, but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am about the death of your mother. I hope your blessings will carry you through to a better 2018. Know that your readers are cheering for you.

    If you ever read the Washington Post advice columnist, Carolyn Hax, she has shared some great insights and lessons from when her mother died when Hax was in her 30s. I thought about sharing this when you first posted about your mom passing away.

    “You’re feeling broken now and you’re supposed to, but you will also mend when you’re ready to. Not into the person you used to be, but the person you’re meant to be, the one who can look at the same view as always but see twice what you saw there before.”

    Full column here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/carolyn-hax-facing-a-parents-death/2017/06/16/30d85a2a-51ec-11e7-91eb-9611861a988f_story.html?utm_term=.ec9e90b4ace8

    Reply
  3. Lauren

    Happy Thanksgiving! To add on the quote-train (can we make that a thing?):
    “I am grateful for this moment.” Even in the lowest moments there is something you can be grateful for even if it’s just the sound of your breath.

    Reply
  4. Michael Blanchfield

    I am grateful for having Theodora as my daughter. She is the reason I get up in the morning and I am always happy when she calls, visits or texts me. She was as close to her mother as is possible, and we both miss her terribly. We both have done a lifetime worth of crying since she died.

    I promise that I will be a better father when I get my knee(s) fixed!

    Reply

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