With Thanksgiving being only two days away, I find myself looking at my life, and asking "What am I thankful for this year?" Surprisingly? Lots.
First and foremost, I am thankful for my family. Not only my husband Wayne and children Morgan and Joshua, but my Mom, Dad, my brother Andy, and my nephew Matty. Everyone has been so supportive of me during these last few years. Heck, my parents and brother have been my whole life. I look around me, and I know how truly blessed I am to be surrounded by such unconditional love and people pouring their strength into me- especially when I am at my weakest. I talk about my amazing husband and kids here in this blog a lot- you all know how awesome they are. But I don't mention my parents and brother enough.
My Mom... bless her heart. I put myself in her shoes, and I can imagine the pain and fear she must feel seeing her daughter fight a disease like MS. I know I'd have had nervous breakdown if I had to watch my own daughter go through this (God forbid). Like all good mothers, she makes me crazy hovering. LOL. I say to her at least once a week "Mom, I'm a 35 year old grown woman, I think I can handle it". She offers to drive me to appointments, take time off work to take care of my kids while I go for testing, take me shopping when I can't go by myself. Heck, she even does our laundry for us to save us the expense of going to a laundry mat. But I know all her hovering is because she loves me so much, and in her helplessness of having to watch her child struggle, she simply wants to do all she can. Thank you, Mom. I may not always show it, but I know you try so hard for me, and I love you very much.
My Dad... I have always been blessed to have an exceptionally close relationship with my father. Even from thousands of miles away, my dad is always there support me and listen. I can not tell you how many times I've called my dad either raging or in tears... and I always hang up the phone feeling better and calmer. My dad is, and always has been, my 'voice of reason' in life. He taught me what unconditional love was by his example from before I could walk or talk. My whole life, I knew in my dad's eyes I was 'perfect'. That's not to say he didn't know my faults and try to help me through them- but through my faults his unconditional love for me made me 'perfect' just as I am regardless. He's even helped us out financially more times than I can count. I'd be lost without him. Thank you Dad, for giving me such a precious gift of yourself in life. I love you.
My Brother, Andy... it's funny, growing up we hated each other. LOL. Oh Lord we'd fight nonstop and horribly. Then one day... we grew up. Now, I am so blessed to be able to look at my brother, and know not only is one of my very best friends, but would be even if he weren't my brother. I have so much respect for my brother, he's raised my nephew Matty alone since Matty was a year old. He has struggled and fought so hard to give his son a good life, made so many sacrifices, pushed himself to exhaustion in the name of love for his son. I tell ya what, if there were more fathers out there like Andy, this world would be an infinitely better place. And even through all his own life struggles, he is always there for me, even more worried for me than he is himself. Andy is truly the type that would give you the shirt off his own back in the middle of a blizzard. He is by far, one of the most unselfish, giving, loving people I've ever been blessed to know. How lucky am I, to be able to call such an outstanding man both my brother and best friend. Thanks Andy, for growing up to be someone that inspires me daily to better myself, and for always being there for me. I love you.
Multiple Sclerosis has changed my life forever, things will never be the same. But even through all the fear, anger, and sorrow I struggle with as I cope with this disease, I still have the ability to look around me and see how truly blessed I am.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! May God bless you all with as much love in your life as I have.