Thanksgiving causes me to reflect on just how much I have be be grateful for. When I was a teen I despised my parents much of the time. They were so strict and I felt that I was a wild bird who wanted to fly but all they could do was clip my wings. They were hard on me. When I screwed up I didn't get a sympathetic lecture on how everyone screws up. I got punished. I couldn't wait to get out of their house which is how I ended up marrying someone when I was just 17. The man was a college graduate who owned his own business and was highly intelligent. My father was relieved that I would have security. It blinded him to the fact that I was not mature enough to make a decision like that. It blinded him to the parts of the man's past that he lied about (which included his age.) Shortly after the marriage I called my Dad and asked him if I could move back home. He said no, that I would adjust. I did a lot of crazy things that year trying to cope with my feelings. It has only been in recent years that I realize my Dad couldn't understand how I felt. He once told me that love was a feeling but at a point it became a decision. Many years later you wouldn't have those feelings and you would have to honor your decision. He was really upset when I got divorced and he refused to help me in any way. He said some hurtful things at times and I just left telling him that I didn't want to hear it. I understand now that he was very worried about my health issues and financial future. He wanted me to be able to get anything I needed (not wanted but needed.) After he met and came to know Rob he learned to love him and sometimes he would just do very nice things for me. He finally got it. I am so grateful for the time that Dad and I finally understood each other. I forgive him for the times he failed me, as he forgave me for the same. This will be our first Thanksgiving without him and it's hard.
I am so grateful for my son. He battled leukemia at 16 for three and a half years. He is okay now. He is a mother hen calling me once or twice daily to check in on me. At times it gets on my nerves but there is nothing like having a child show they love you. He is also very verbal about that. He is a kind, caring and generous person.
I am most grateful for Rob. He uses every day he gets off work getting me to doctor's appointments or hospital admissions. He's the one who sees me when I fall apart and gently picks up the pieces. He is always empathetic and helps me in whatever ways he can. That to me is love. Always putting the needs of another over your own. I feel badly at times so whenever I can I try to spoil him a little. There is nothing I could ever do to repay Rob for all he has done for me. When you become ill you lose most of your friends. They just call less and less and back away. I few a few people who have hung in there with me but it's Rob who I truly count on. When I was younger I thought that my friends were more important than family. My view on that has changed a bit. They share the loss of a parent with you and your history. My siblings matter much more to me now than they used to, especially my sister. She will be here tomorrow with my mother, son, husband and I. Dad's presence will be missed but he is at peace. That's another thing I am grateful for. His death softened my mother and we are in a much better place than we have been in before.
I am also so grateful for the wonderful doctors who have gone the extra mile for me this year: Dr. Gilbert, Dr. Hirshfeld and Dr. Gopal and even a few others. Without the intervention of Dr. Gilbert who met me when I was in critical condition, I wouldn't still be here. I battle on for more Thanksgivings, more Christmases and more times just to feel loved. Life is so wonderful. Each day is a new adventure, a chance to meet a new friend and to remember those from the past. I wish I could give everyone I know a cup of gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours.
Rob, myself and Tom at a wedding Sept. 2011
These are the people that keep me keeping on