I am grateful for many things. I realized when I heard of a devastating event in the town I grew up in, about a mile from where we last lived before we moved to Mesa about 4.5 years ago that I have not put into words all the things I am grateful for. I know that I cannot possibly list them all, but I thought this would be a good start.
I am forever grateful for my family and friends, but that is a given. It is why I am grateful for you that is more important than the simple gratefulness.
I am grateful for my mother who never minces words and is always truthful, even when I don't want to hear it. I am thankful for her ability to be both mother and friend, and always there for me. I am truly appreciative that she has given me the wings I need to fly this journey I am venturing on, and so many, many more things that would take pages to list. I love her more than she will ever know.
I am grateful for my father who is brutally honest and yet so very, very right. I am much more grateful that he chose me so many years ago to be a father to. He has made my life such an amazing one just by being in it, and I am eternally grateful for my daddy. I am thankful for the adoption papers that sit in my filing drawer showing his devotion to me and I am so thankful each time I hear him say he loves me because he never had to.
I am grateful for Kenny, my biological father. This may sound odd, but without him, I would not be here. I am also thankful to him for knowing when to let go. For allowing me to live the wonderful life that I have lead and having the amazing father that I have. I believe it took either great strength or great selfishness to do what he did, possibly both. Whatever the case, I am eternally grateful for the decision that was made. I was given the ability to have both my true Daddy, and Kenny's family. I could not ask for more. So, I thank you Kenny, for what I assume was something of a sacrifice for you, and for allowing me a better life.
I am grateful for my baby sister even if she doesn't always think so. I am thankful for our many wonderful memories growing up, from singing in the shower, sleeping together on Christmas Eve, summers at the shore and walks to the bay, and pizza at Slice. I am also thankful for the memories we will continue to make in the years to come. She is a great sister to me and aunt to my son. I could not ask for more.
I am grateful for my husband, my best friend, and now my soldier. For almost 9 years Curtis has been my rock, he has been there for me through thick and thin. He has seen me at my best and my worst and everything in between, and never once has he considered taking the "easy" road like many people would have. I am so thankful to have found my soul mate, the person in this world who truly completes me. I will hold dear the promise of his love forever.
I am grateful for my son. For many reasons Gunnar should never have been. I was told I most likely would never conceive, so getting pregnant alone was wondrous. I had a difficult pregnancy, and Gunnar was 5 weeks premature and he was perfectly healthy and an amazing 6lbs 12oz! He was and still is my little miracle! He amazes me on a daily biases, and knowing that I cannot have anymore children, I feel so blessed to have been given such a loving and wonderful child with such a kindred soul. He is so much like his daddy and I am also very grateful for this in Curt's absence.
I am grateful for my all my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. You have all been a wonderful part of my life. I wish we were closer (geographically) so we could spend more time together. I am thankful for the time that we have spent, and I cherish it. I look forward to time we will have together in the future. I love you all dearly, more than you know. Each and every one of you have a very special place in my heart.
I am grateful for Curt's family, whom have become my family over the last many years. I now have an entire network of amazing people that I am related to because of my wonderful husband. I am so thankful for the many brother-in-law's I have for showing me what it's like to have brothers, and even more so making me that much more thankful I have a sister! I love you boys so much, but I am very much a sister kind of girl! I am also very appreciative for the large extended family that I have become very close with. Whether you are an Osborne, a Gibbens, a Crawford, a Searcy or any other of the many last names in this well blended family, I love you all so much, and thank you for being my family too.
I am grateful for all my friends, past, present and future. For those that have stayed for the long haul, and for those that have come and gone. Each of you have taught me many valuable lessons over the years. To some that have gone, I am much more grateful that you are now gone, but also thankful for what I have learned from the volatile relationships that have passed. For others that have gone, I miss you dearly and wish and hope to at some point reconnect with you, even if it is only for a brief moment. There are some of you who have been with me for the long haul, to you I am eternally grateful. We have had wonderful times, and learned many lessons together, and I hope to have many more of each. To my new friends, I don't yet know which category you will fall into, but there is a plan for everything and everyone and I am ever so grateful to have you in my life now and look forward to what the future holds for us all. We all have great journeys ahead of us and I hope to have you all along for the ride in the journey of a lifetime with me.
I am grateful for my house. Not because it is big and wonderfully furnished, but because it is my home. I am thankful that I have a place to live and food to eat and a bed to crawl into at night. I am grateful that even though I felt like I had been run over by a semi truck over the weekend I had that house to clean, because so many people don't. I'm also thankful that I have an obscene mortgage payment to remind me every month of the wonderful home I have. These may seem like strange things to be thankful for, but these days, and after recent events, I feel grateful for everything and everyone I have.
I am grateful for my job. I work for a company that CARES! I don't know how many people can say that. Truly, I work for a fortune 100 company, and they CARE! They care about me, they care about the patients we are helping, and they care about the world we live in. That's a pretty amazing thing when you think about it. I have amazing co-workers that I consider friends. I have supervisors that go above and beyond the call of duty on a daily biases to make sure that I can do my job to the best of my ability. Guess what my job is...I give FREE MEDICATION to people who could not otherwise afford to take their prescriptions. Doesn't get much better than that when you want to talk about being grateful, huh?! Sure there are days when I'm tired and there are too many calls and I just want to go home. It's still a job, and I am NOT A SAINT! We all have bad days, but if I had to pick a job that was completely fulfilling to my core, this job would surely be in my top 10. The caliber of the company, and the people, combined with what we do every day, bar none makes this a job I will be forever grateful to have taken part in.
I am grateful for the small things, that suddenly don't seem so small. Things like Gunnar's smile or the way he tells me everyday without fail how much he loves me and how beautiful I am, even if I just woke up. Curt's voice on the phone and the letters I check the mail for everyday. The smell of my Mom when she hugs me and the feel of her small but strong arms holding me, or watching my sister sit in the sink and put her make-up on like she has done for as long as I can remember. The soft but slightly scratchy feel when I kiss my Dad's cheek, or the smell of head and shoulders in his black but turning salt and pepper hair. The silly dog that is now running around my house, sleeping in my bed, curling up beside me and barking a strangers passing by. Me who didn't want anymore animals, suddenly adores this yippee little dog with the name that's too big for him. I'm thankful for the little turtle hanging out in the tank in the playroom named George. Another animal I didn't want. He's cute as can be and is content to just be a turtle, but my boys adore him. Curt actually asks about him when he calls and in letters, and Gunnar feeds him and makes sure the heat lamp is on in the morning and off at night. I am rather fond of the little guy too. There are so many things I am thankful for, to have money in my bank account, gas in my car and food in my house.
I am grateful for the Army for allow us to have this new journey. For giving Curt a new and hopeful future that he is proud of and for teaching me to be strong and independent not only for myself but for my husband and son too. I am thankful for the great things the Army provides for our family, money for housing, health insurance that covers absurdly expensive medication at nearly no cost to us, money for education for Curtis or Gunnar depending on how long Curt stays in. The Army has brought so many wonderful experiences and people and things into our lives already. We have both made new friends, people I wouldn't have ever met, yet my life would be so different without them. I have learned amazing truths about myself that I could not be more thankful and excited for, and I know Curt has learned things about himself and about me too. We have grown more as a couple during this time apart than in all our years together. I know that I cannot always expect things to be this smooth, or this easy, but I am truly thankful to have had such a wonderful welcome into military life, I know not many are this blessed.
Blessed. That is really what it comes down to. My life is blessed by people, places, things, in every way and everyday. I didn't always feel that way. There were times, not very long ago, when I couldn't see the upside of down, but this is a different time in my life, and I feel truly blessed to have come so far to realize, no only how far I have come, but how far I can go from here. So for all of you who are part of my wonderfully blessed life, I will say it again, I am ever so grateful for every single one of you for everyday that I am able to spend with you, for anything that we do together. Thank you for being part of my life past, present and I hope, future. I love you all.