I’m a few days early, but I’m not sure how often I’ll be online this week, so here are my happy Thanksgiving wishes to all of you! I am thoroughly enjoying having Gary at home again, and more than any other year, I am completely aware of how much I have to be thankful for.
I knew there were 2 ways to handle the things that happened this past year, and 2 ways to deal with my emotions. I could let all of it rip me apart and leave me ragged, bitter, and destroyed, or I could refuse to be beaten down, force myself to see the silver lining (and damn, I had to look pretty hard sometimes), and squeeze something positive and useful and beautiful out of it or die trying.
Because of the pain of the past 7 months, this past weekend radiated a beauty and joy that I might have overlooked, if we hadn’t had to work so hard to make it happen. Watching Gary with the kids again swelled my heart. I took an entire roll of pictures, mostly the kids piled up on top of their daddy in various formations, but always smiling, always laughing, always full of love.
I am so proud of the kids. They have been put through the wringer and have endured so much, long before even this separation from their father. They are loving, loyal, and true to their father, no matter what they’ve been told, no matter how all of this has been twisted and presented to them. There were tears, which we expected, but they were honest, asked questions, let us know the fears and doubts in their hearts, and most of all, let Gary know they love him and need him so much.
Gary let the kids flip through his sketch pad, choosing pictures they wanted to color or take with them. Bear chose a drawing of a pick-up truck, and Gary told him, “I drew that when I was Wolverine’s age.”
Bear’s eyes grew wide and he gasped, “Whoa! This drawing is 9 gazillion years old! You’ve been alive a long time!”
I couldn’t help but laugh. This year, I’m thankful that I can still laugh. Thankful that Gary is home. Thankful the kids and their father were able to be together, like they should be. Thankful that we are all stronger than we thought we were. Thankful for Gary’s arms around me as I smack the snooze button and refuse to let go of him because I’ve waited so long to have him beside me again. Thankful for the laughter and singing and dancing that filled our house this past weekend, a house that’s been filled with mostly my voice yapping to the cats (and myself) for way too long.
Thankful that despite everything all of us have been through, we never gave up on love, or each other.
*Be Thankful carved pumpkin courtesy of Country Accents*