giving thanks #10

As we focus on this season of gratitude, I hope to write briefly about something I am thankful for every day.

My mother always said, after my children were born, that if she had known grandchildren were so great, she would have had them first. All my friends tried to tell me how great having a grandchild would be. I knew it would be special, but I had no idea…

Madison is our first grandbaby. She is the most precious and most beautiful child in the world. She is smart, and curious, and busy, and a good sleeper. Thankfully she has been healthy, and you can see the wheels in her mind turning as she tries to understand new things. She is ticklish, and snuggly, and strong, and sweet. Her mom and dad are doing all the right things, and they are generous to let us spend special times with her. It has been such a gift to see her growing and changing, and moving through the stages of life in these past 14 months.  And she gives us hope and excitement for the future to see what she does next.

We hope she will call us Nan and Pops. We will answer no matter what name she comes up with.

I am so thankful.

giving thanks #9

As we focus on this season of gratitude, I hope to write briefly about something I am thankful for every day.

Daddy was 42 when I was born. I never remember him with hair on top of his head (except for an ill conceived toupee during a brief episode in later life). He was a railroad worker all of his life, finally reaching the status of train engineer. His great love was sports, especially football, which he played and officiated for 60+ years. And although I do not have an athletic bone or muscle in my body, he also dearly loved me.

My mother was the dominant personality in their relationship, and Daddy was home off-and-on at odd hours due to the train schedules. But he watched my attempts at basketball and softball, and he listened to me practicing things for school and sharing concerns I had about life. Yes, he was always there for me.  And after my mother died, I tried to be there for him. I would go see him each afternoon after school, working the visit in after a hectic day and before spending time with my own family after that. He always was delighted to se me, and I learned so much about him that had been previously overshadowed by my mother. The six months I had with him before he passed away were a gift.

Daddy passed on memories and mementoes of our family and gave us all lots of love.

I am so thankful.

giving thanks #8

As we focus on this season of gratitude, I hope to write briefly about something I am thankful for every day.

My mother was one-of-a-kind. She was creative, generous (to a fault), and stylish. She was a business owner, an educator, and milliner (hat maker), a dedicated church goer and worker, a volunteer at the hospital, and a lot of fun. She loved life and she loved people. And she especially loved me.

My parents were married sixteen years before I was born, and I am an only child. My mother believed in me and encouraged me, and she was my biggest supporter in everything I attempted or even thought about doing. She made my clothes, gave me baton and piano lessons, sent me to an excellent girls high school, loved to have my friends come to our house and go on trips with us, and adored my husband. She was smitten with our children, and they loved their Meemom. She was filed with exuberance and enthusiasm. I could not have had a mother who loved and supported me more.

I miss my mother every day. Her words and deeds continue to inspire me.

I am so thankful.

giving thanks #7

As we focus on this season of gratitude, I hope to write briefly about something I am thankful for every day.

When our son Mark was born, our little family was complete. He brought a loving heart, a curious spirit, and a lot of fun into our world. I remember him snuggling with us when he was little, and idolizing his older sister. He still does, admittedly or not.

It was fun to watch him on numerous teams – soccer, football, basketball – through the years. Now he is 6’5″, but still a big teddy bear. He works as an engineer and balances that with basketball and hunting. Mark is opinionated, passionate, funny, entertaining, and still curious about the world around him, sharing facts he constantly researches on the Internet. He has been blessed with a beautiful and loving wife, Landon, who brings out the best in him constantly. She is hardworking, thoughtful, family-oriented, sweet, smart, and stylish. Even though they are still newlyweds, it is easy to see how very much they were meant to be together.

The little boy who has grown to manhood, and the family of his own he is making, are special gifts to us.

I am so thankful.

giving thanks #6

As we focus on this season of gratitude, I hope to write briefly about something I am thankful for every day.

Our first child, our daughter Beth, was beautiful from the moment she was born. Seventeen days late, she had already outgrown her newborn look and size. But it was more than that – she was so truly lovely that my husband and I often looked at her and wondered, “Whose baby is that? It can’t be ours!” But, blessedly, she was.

She was (and is) beautiful on the inside as well. Always happy, and giggly, and tender-hearted in the extreme; enormously artistically talented, determined, generous, intelligent, and so sincere. Her home is decorated beautifully and is always welcoming. She’s a great cook, too. She has become the best mom ever, so devoted to her little girl and so loving and patient with her. Beth’s soul mate, our son-in-law Jamie, is her perfect match. He is handsome, and smart, a lover of sports of all kinds;  athletic, generous, thoughtful, a doting dad, and quite the conversationalist. Most importantly of all, they are crazy about each other and also their sweet little girl.

The long ago gift of this sweet child, now grown –  and now today, her own family, so happy together – enrich our lives daily.

I am so thankful.

giving thanks #5

As we focus on this season of gratitude, I hope to write briefly about something I am thankful for every day.

I am thankful for the two children that God blessed our family with many years ago.

For both of them. I know better than to write about one before the other because they both still keep track of things like that. And they let me know it. But I love them both so it is easy to be grateful for both of them together.

I remember with gratitude their soft baby skin, their first steps, their preschool adventures, their school projects and good grades, their sports activities, and their friends and fun times.

I am grateful for even those aching times when they suffered heartbreaks and we feebly tried our best to comfort them. And when they left home for college and the house echoed without their voices.

And now I am thankful for their happy marriages, for grandchildren (present and future), and for the closeness in both location and conversation we still share.

Our children are a gift from God.

I am so thankful.

giving thanks #4

As we focus on this season of gratitude, I hope to write briefly about something I am thankful for every day.

I am the luckiest woman on this earth to be married to the wonderful man that is my husband. He is a gift from God, and he is perfect for me.

Through the years he has supported my strengths and also has gently helped me change my flawed ways. He has stood beside me through lean financial years, through building adventures, through parental health issues, through moving houses and changing jobs, and through heartaches and joys.

We have raised our children together and grown the love we have for each other year after year.

He is steadfast, and honest, and funny, and serious, and hard working, and smart, and devoted, and handsome, too. He is more than I ever imagined I could find in a husband and he has blessed my life in countless ways.

He loves me as much as I dearly love him.

I am so thankful.