Thankful

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As we head into Thanksgiving, I have been considering all that I am thankful for – the list is long.

I am thankful, above all and most deeply, for the three people who make me complete, Tim, Laura and Kyle. Ubuntu – I am because we are – completely sums up how I feel about our family. These three people are at the core of my past, present and future. I am grateful to have been married to my best friend for over 31 years. He is my bedrock. My children, who I keep in the small of my heart, no matter where they are in the world, helped me define who I was and who I want to be. As we have transitioned from their childhood to our collective adulthood, I have realized that our shared history makes our growing friendships more complete.

I am thankful for the people who love my children, who share their lives with them, either on a day-to-day basis, or whenever time allows. I am thankful for the love and support you show them and the memories you create together.

I am thankful for my ‘first’ family – a group of people who are not all defined by blood, but rather by the times we have spent together and the memories we have created. Two of the best events of this past year, Janie and Steve’s weddings, brought together so many people with one focus – creating the platform for the rest of their lives together surrounded by everyone who cares for them. I am incredibly thankful that I was able to be at both events and meet the growing number of people now part of that ‘first’ family.

I am thankful for my friends. I have such a wide range of friends from the various times and aspects of my life. People who help me and guide me, inspire me and share the ups and downs, the ins and outs of life. And who make me laugh, as laughter is a therapeutic gift.

I am thankful for the amazing opportunity of returning to university. It goes far beyond what I imagined and challenges me to realign how I think of myself through the many new experiences I have each day. I am thankful for the people I have met, the help I have received. I am blown away by the young people I meet each day, how much time they spending thinking about others and their world.

I am thankful for discovering the positive effects of mindfulness meditation. The timing of learning how to lower anxiety and stress could not have been better. I am thankful for sunny days and the good health in which to enjoy them.

Ten years ago, just after Thanksgiving, my dad passed away. At the end, all he wanted was to leave the hospice and go home for Thanksgiving. Sit in his chair. Be with his family. I am thankful that he was able to do that. I am thankful that I got to know him.

This year, I am especially thankful for my friend Lois. She came into my life before my kids, in the early days of my marriage and work life. Those days were full of her humour, her deep intelligence and her wisdom influencing and guiding me.  Over the years, we have kept in touch and she is one of my greatest cheerleaders. I am thankful for her gentle reminders of the importance of living in THIS moment, living THIS day fully. Lois exemplifies the adage, You reap what you sow. She is surrounded by friends she has nurtured and cared for – her field of friendships spans far and wide. I am thankful for being part of her journey.

I am thankful. Ever so thankful.