I thought in honour of that, I would mention a few things I am truly grateful for this year. It has been an extremely challenging year, but at the same time, those challenges have brought me to a place that would previously been unattainable.
- I am thankful for the precious time with my parents. As they age and their health becomes more frail, I become increasingly aware of how important each and every moment is. One year ago today, we were on the side of a highway with my Dad in cardiac arrest. As I held onto him that night after calling 911, I truly thought it would be the last day. As he was lifted into the ambulance, I thought that would be the last time I would see him looking at me. That didn't happen. He came through his quintuple bypass and while he did not completely recover, he is with us and the family has become closer for it. My Mom's COPD has become more challenging. As we face the deterioration of her breathing, I am struck by how strong she is. She teaches me to greet challenges with a smile and to stay positive no matter what the situation.
- I am thankful for reconnecting with my extended family. My cousins from both sides of the family. On my Mom's side, I have reconnected with my Mom's brother's daughters and there is a kinship there that goes beyond the similar physical features. When we are together, something feels like it clicks back into place. On my Dad's side, I am thrilled to have found my cousin, Jill. While we haven't had a chance to meet yet in person, I know the day will be come.
- For a long time, I wished I had a sister. Having been the only daughter in a family of 5, I often longed for that kinship. I watched my Mom and her sisters and wanted that so badly. I now have that in my nieces. At 23 and 25, they have grown into amazing young women whom I'm proud to call my sisters. I've watched them grow up, helped them along the way, and now we are extremely close. Through the difficulties this last year has brought, it is these girls who have supported me and me them.
- I am thankful I had the courage to leave a job that was emotionally draining me. A negative atmosphere that bred resentment, anger and fear. In less than a year, I felt myself becoming increasingly introverted and I knew during my trip to DC and NY earlier this year that I had to get away before those things became ingrained. I had never left a job in that manner before, and it took a lot to break myself of this situation. However, my new job has shown me that I made the right decision. I go to work happy now, and can't wait to return after a weekend.
- I am thankful for taking a chance and becoming involved in my high school reunion planning. Through this experience, I was able to renew old friendships, release old hurts, and even begin new friendships. I did not have a positive experience in high school. It coloured a lot of my opinions but I found by taking a conscious step to let go of those old scars, I was able to allow myself to new beginnings. It is an amazing feeling to be able to come full circle. The friends I met through this experience are ones that I truly believe I will continue to have in my life.
- I am thankful for my health. Two cancer scares this year made me reflect on the fragility of life. I had two procedures to remove the bad cells and had the all-clear about 4 weeks ago. Having the car accident has also changed me. I thought I knew how precious life was, but obviously, I need to spend more time remembering that. I am thankful to have that chance. The pelvis will heal, the scars will fade, but I will never forget how quickly life changes. I am thankful for that lesson.
- I am thankful for my friends. When things get rough, to know you don't walk alone is so important. This year has allowed me to see my true friends for who they are and appreciate the fact I have them in my life.
On that, I wish you all a fantastic Thanksgiving!