Today is Thanksgiving, a day to give thanks for the bounty around us. I have so much for which I’m thankful, and though it may be cliche, I would like to share some of those things here.

First and foremost, I’m thankful for Chad. We are not a perfect couple but we’re perfect for each other. He loves me and I love him and we’ll be together forever, till death do us part. Thank goodness.

And of course, I’m very thankful for my kiddos. Jackson is so sweet. He is a caring and sensitive little boy, and he fills my heart with love. I am grateful to him for making me a mother. He is a great kid and I love him so much. And Gracie—so thankful for Gracie. Because of Gracie, our lives are more stressful and chaotic, but also because of Gracie, our lives are so much richer. She brings us so much joy. Her beautiful light shines through our lives, bringing grace and love.

I am thankful for my sweet Sis who is the Best Sister in the Universe. She has always been and will always be my bestie, the one person who knows me better than anyone else and loves me anyway. Aw. Love my sis.

Honestly, I’m thankful for my whole big family—brothers, parents, aforementioned Sis, nieces, and nephew. We have a great family with lots of love and laughter. We have a great extended family, too, all those aunts and uncles and cousins. They, too, are very loving and sweet. And then there’s Chad’s family—they are really loving and sweet, too. I am thankful to have so much familial support.

I am thankful for my job. I love what I do and love the people I work with. Even though I’m a terrible employee—taking emergency vacations to the hospital, having at least one doctor’s appointment each week (more than that now, since appointments for me and Chad have joined the mix), having to take care of my kids while working at home or in the office, etc.—they have always been very cool to me and they seem to value me. I’m lucky to be in such a good employment situation.

I am thankful for my doggies. I love them both—Sirius, the 100+ year old man, is one of the best dogs I’ve ever known. He loves me so much; he would do anything for me. He has protected me, he has comforted me, he has been through a lot with me. Although we don’t have many more days together, the ones we’ve had have been awesome. And Norbert, the adorable puppy, is oh-so-cute. He enriches our lives and brings us fun and puppy love.

Even though I’m so sad about losing poor Miss Kitty, I am thankful for many things about her last days, too. I am thankful that she did not have a long and slow decline like the dogs, for which we have to agonize about whether it’s time to euthanize or whether the last days are worth living. I’m thankful we were able to give her a quick and easy death so she didn’t have to die of starvation. I’m thankful I had her as long as I did—she taught me so much and I loved her so. I will always love her.

Along those less-happy lines, I’m really thankful that we live in a country with great health care. Chad and I are both having surgery in the next few weeks—he is having his cataract removed Monday and I am having my gallbladder removed on Dec. 18—but both surgeries are routine and should be a piece of cake for the doctors. Also both of us will benefit from the surgeries, Chad more immediately than me. It’s a good thing that we have these options; we could live somewhere where cataracts aren’t able to be removed or people die from perforated gallbladders. I’m thankful for modern medicine.

I’m thankful for my amazing friends who care about me and my whole family so much. They are a huge blessing. Love them all. My friends have reached out to offer help and support during my infirmity, they babysit when everyone else is afraid to watch Gracie, they have visited  us in the hospital and brought the best gifts ever with them, they have watched my boy at a moment’s notice so that I could concentrate my attention on Gracie, they have taken care of me in so many ways. They are the best.

I’m also grateful for the friends I’ve met through the FB group for people who don’t feel pain. That fateful NY Times article that led me to the group is another thing I’m thankful for—I still remember seeing that picture of 2-year-old Ashlyn with her hands bound to keep her from biting them and crying. Gracie was two at the time, and we had just had her first long hospital stay for gangrene and osteomyelitis from bite wounds that became infected. Finally, after reading that article, I had found someone who knew what we were going through. And actually, there are a lot of someones, some of whom are very dear to me. I care so much about them. I’m so thankful for them.

There’s so much more that I’m thankful for, but maybe this post is long enough. Happy Thanksgiving—thank you.

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