Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mike and I just spent some time talking and being teary-eyed together on this day before Thanksgiving. There are aspects about this holiday I'm sad about...this should have been our first major holiday showing Garrett off, probably in a turkey outfit that matches Autumn's turkey dress but...yeah. At the same time, I have so much to be thankful for: Garrett's legacy which I will write about more later; the fact that I am here, celebrating with my family and friends; my health; Mike; Autumn...the list goes on and on.

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

And so it is. I'm continuing my list of things that I do to cope...this whole series can also be a list of the things I am thankful for, really, so in honor of Thanksgiving...two groups I give thanks for every day who also happen to be a huge part of what keeps me moving forward.

Good friends
I'm a raging extrovert so this one is an extra big one. I don't know how I would have coped without all the friends who have stood beside me these past months. It's really incredible and I honestly don't know what I did to cultivate such an incredible crop of friendship.

I'm stuck here a little bit because I'm dying to talk and brag about my friends but...I don't think there are any words that can ever express how much I appreciate the calls, notes, nights out, girls' nights, dinners brought over, and just love that friends like Penny, Tamara, Cathy, and our community group (to name a few of well over a dozen) have showered on us. This has also deepened some relationships with people who were once acquaintances, especially in places like Autumn's school and the dojo.

And, you know, all these friends have taught me more about being a good friend. I'm hoping that all the help, hope, and care my friends have showered on us will filter through me and affect the people I'll be supporting and caring for in the future. I'm thankful for that, too.

Good family
Everyone knows how much I love my husband's family. Seriously, I know Mike's mom talks all the time about how crazy they are but I think they really have no idea how crazy ha-ha they are and not crazy OMG-RUN they are! I've soaked up the time with them, especially in the weeks after losing Garrett. While I was pregnant, they took such good care of us--even with Brad and Lainey and P'd decorating our house for Christmas! Lindsay embroidered a bunch of things for Garrett in preparation for his birth and when things fell apart, she is the one who embroidered the blanket for his casket that's now in his shadow box. Lauren brought me a necklace that has Autumn's birthday and Garrett's birthday engraved on it...and, of course, they all cried with us.

My family has been equally impressive through all this. My mom cleaned alongside Mike's mom and sister and my community group while I was in the hospital...she and my sister Valerie held Garrett, along with us and Mike's parents, before we had to give him over to the funeral home. My brother and his wife immediately hopped a plane from Las Vegas to be with us even though they were already coming a month later, around Garrett's due date.

Finally, Mike and it even possible to talk about how thankful I am for them? I am so, so happy to be here with them that I absolutely absorb every moment I get with them. Autumn was born after a difficult year where we lost my dad after he got back on drugs. We prayed that she'd be full of joy and bring light and a smile everywhere she goes and, boy does she do that. And Mike...he's the only person I would want to endure this with.

I really can't brag enough about how blessed I am in the family and friends department. This is only a slice of my experience in the last few months, and really over the years because these friends and family didn't just start being amazing in June when life fell apart. They were amazing before. Anyway, sorry if this post is a little mushier than usual. I'm feeling pretty mushy right now. :) Bittersweetly, as always.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May you be as blessed as I am, in good times and sad.

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