I've never been big on Thanksgiving. Not so much the giving thanks part, but the getting together to give thanks part. It's never bothered me to have to work on Thanksgiving Day. Honestly, I usually enjoy it. In the line of work that we do, a big holiday normally means we have fewer people to work with. And that makes for a nice break.
But this year was different. My brother and sister-in-law and their kids are in Arkansas for the week. And I'm in Kansas. Joshua took on the duty of being our family representative so he is hanging with my people while I am here taking a psychotic guy to get an EKG, arguing the pros and cons of getting a cat with another, and listening over and over again to whatever happens to be the conversation of the day for our guy with no short-term memory. And so, while I am thankful I have a job, I've also thought a lot about the other things I am thankful for.
I am so thankful for my family (including the wonderful family I was fortunate to marry into). We certainly have had our share of dysfunction (no more or less probably than most families - we've had the divorces, the addictions, the remarriages, the griefs, the crazies, the relocations, the arguments, the FBI investigations - kidding, kind of - etc.) but we get through it. I know the saying about not being able to pick your family, but I'd choose these people over and over again if given the chance. All of them - even the really crazy one, because she's made us who we are. And I really like who we are.
I am so thankful for a husband who loves me no matter what stupid thing I say or do. He loves me when our house is a mess because I just don't feel like doing anything about it. He loves me when I get up in the morning, and even after being with me ALL DAY LONG, he still loves me when we go to bed at night. What more could a girl want?
I am thankful that I have the most amazing kid in the world. I'm not saying he doesn't drive me up the wall, because nobody does that any better. He makes me CRAZY. But he also makes me laugh like nobody else can make me laugh. He is truly so stinkin' funny! And besides having a great sense of humor, he is sensitive and compassionate and loves people well. He's gonna do great things one day. Mark my words on that one.
I am thankful that I have great friends. When we moved away from home (Arkansas) two years ago, I thought to myself, "I'll never have friends like I do now." And guess what? I was right. But what I didn't realize then was that I didn't need proximity friendships. I have friends that I know I will have FOREVER who live all over the country. And I know that if I even need those people in a way that requires their physical presence, they will drop whatever they are doing and be at more door. And I would do the same for them. How blessed I am!
I am thankful for my job. I have a job that allows me to stay home with my husband and son. I have the opportunity to make a difference every day in somebody's life. I may have to deal with crazy. A LOT of crazy. But honestly, we are pretty good at crazy. Why we had to be the people gifted at dealing with crazy, I don't know. I just know we are. So I will try to embrace that. But I will probably always wonder why us.
I am thankful for Jesus. He loves me more than I could ever deserve to be loved. The other day when I might have been yelling at Joshua when I was trying to teach him math, he looked up at me and calmly says, "Do you need some Jesus?" (Told ya' he's funny!) Lowell walked through and said, "No, she has Jesus, she's just hiding Him under a bushel!" I think I do that too much. I don't want to hide Him. Even with my wonderful family, friends, husband, child, and job, I have nothing without Jesus.
So those are the big things. I'm also thankful for LOTS of little things, many of them materialistic things, but hey, I'm being honest. I am thankful for my iphone, books, and almost all reality television. I am thankful for vacations, convenience stores, Amazon.com, and eBay. I am thankful to live in a country where I can choose where to live, where and how to worship, and where and how to educate my child. I am thankful that I have to miss Thanksgiving with the family I dined with last year, and I am thankful that I will be missed at the table in Arkansas.
I could go on, but I will stop, say "Happy Thanksgiving" and return to trying to get caught up on all the blogs about my life, in a group home.