Those of you who know me know that my father passed away last weekend. I won't try and sugar coat my relationship with him, but I will say that knowing you don't (or never will) have a daddy when you lay your head down at night is very lonely. My dad had a lot of issues, but he loved my daughters. When I said good-bye to him, I left him with a picture of them because I know how happy he would have been with it.
I didn't have a perfect relationship with my father, but during this loss, I cannot help but be reminded of everything that I DO have. And for that I am thankful...
I am thankful for my life. God has blessed me in countless ways, I have so many beautiful things and a beautiful house to call home. But I have so much more.
I am thankful for my church. I have gone to church my whole life, but never before have I seen a group of people more devoted to serving God and who truly try to encourage every single person to serve God the best way that they can.
I am thankful for my friends. I have been blessed by so many wonderful friends. Friends that have been my friend for as many years as I can remember and friends that I have known for only a few months. Friends that I did not think twice about sending a text to early one Saturday morning to tell them some bad news. Friends that will be my friends forever.
I am thankful for my family. I have been blessed by "in-laws," if you can call them that. I was blessed with a father and "another" mother and a friend. An extended family that raised a man that would make my life worthwhile.
Sisters that go so far beyond the word sister, friend, mother...we are so close we can say anything to each other. We can get mad, and five minutes later laugh. Sisters that love my girls like their own and that I would spend every day with. And a brother-in-law that has looked after me from the time I was a tiny girl...and who looks after my girls with the same love.
I've been blessed by this man. So many people at church conjured up this image when they heard the news of my father. Because even though he is not physically my father, he is in every other sense of the word. He has given me a life that I would not have had otherwise. He showed me what to look for in a husband, someone who truly loves his wife. And someone who would even give up a day of golf to come see my girls!
There are no words for these two women...my aunt Pattie--the line is blurred between aunt, friend and mother. Anyone who has ever met Pattie will never forget her. She is a free spirit. But she loves more than anyone I have ever known. She has loved me and protected me from pain, when I had no idea she even knew what was going on. She has always told me that the only thing she wanted for me was to walk ahead of me and clear my path of stones, and she has done an amazing job. She loves my daughters and would fight to the death if anyone even so much as suggested that they were not behaving (which, if she is with them, chances are they are not!). She LOVES Alvin. Everyone who knows her knows that. Alvin is number one to her on this earth, and together they have shown me a love that I strive so hard to capture. And most importantly, she loves God like no other person I have ever known. She has the most amazing ability to hand her worries over to Him and truly know that He will handle it.
My mom. I love my mom. My sisters and I would do anything in our power to protect her. My mother would lay down her life for one of her children. And from the first moment she laid eyes on Olivia, her love grew to knew heights for her grandchildren. My mother has had a hard life and now it is mine, Kim's and Teresa's responsibility to make it the best life possible for her. She is the strongest person I have ever known.
I am So, So thankful for these girls. I never knew I could love something like this. I don't have to dwell on this because any of you who are mommas reading this, know exactly how I feel about these girls.
They can take a bad day and make it good. They can take a rough night and make it okay. They make life worth living, just by smiling or giggling. I pray every day that their relationship will one day be as strong as mine is with my sisters.
And mostly, I am thankful for this man. This man who has made everything good thing in my life possible. This man that I still get excited when I hear his voice on the phone or hear him walk in the door. This man who would go without something he needed just to make me smile.
This man who shows me every single day that my girls will always have the most wonderful daddy in the world.
For these things, and so, so many more--I am thankful.