Neither of them made it to Christmas.
I'm thankful for many things. I don't spend all day stuck on this memory. I don't only lament what I don't have. I do give thanks. Henry taught me that. I was perhaps my most grateful when he was in the hospital, when we didn't know what was wrong with him, when every day seemed bleak and improvements seemed miniscule and setbacks huge. Each night I prayed for him, and I always began with thanks—thanks for another day, for better sats, being one step closer to extubation, a card in the mail, an email, open eyes, a smile.
It is easier when the daily challenges are more mundane to forget about the little reasons for thanks. Perhaps because nothing is all that bad, nothing is all that great. I like to think I am more aware of the small joys and blessings around me. Maybe. Most days.
Kathleen woke up too early this morning. She was cranky all day, throwing tantrums off and on. And yet, I was thankful.
I was thankful to sit with her,
to hold her,
to read to her,
to kiss her head,
to have her shout, "Bye! Ta ta! Cheerio!" as I tucked her in for the night.
I'm thankful for a warm home,
a comfortable bed,
and a full belly.
I'm thankful to have work that I (mostly) like,
and for three days off,
and for a break from that work starting a week and half from now.
I'm thankful for the blue skies today,
the November chill,
and the smell of smoke in the air.
I'm thankful for a close-knit neighborhood,
friends near and far,
and the amazing people I've met because of Henry.
I'm thankful for Thanksgiving traditions,
for two families that I will happy to see tomorrow,
for family that acknowledges the missing among us.
I'm thankful for my baby boy whose smile still warms me,
for my baby girl who amazes me with something new every day,
and for the baby I have yet to meet.
I'm thankful I'm not standing outside that hospital room this year,
thankful for having survived year one and year two,
thankful to feel the sharp edges of grief softening, slowly, yes, but softening still.
Thank you for reading here,
for bearing witness,
for supporting me on this journey.