The big eating festivus has come to an end. I ate a lot. I cooked a ton. My back and feet ache and I just had a second piece of pie.
Yup, another Thanksgiving come and gone. Thanksgiving has aways been a special time for my husband and I. He proposed to me on Thanksgiving night six years ago. It is hard to believe that much time has come and gone, but in other ways it seems like the two people who were dancing in the kitchen of their first apartment when he proposed, are now strangers. We have done soooo much since that night- moved two times, built a house, got out of a crappy business, gained and lost weight, had a fabulous wedding, had two (almost three) babies, lost a beloved dog and got another one, worked a lot, cried some, laughed tons...
Yup life has been an adventure. Today he looked at me and said "I bet you didn't know what you were in for when you said yes that night." And he is right, I had no idea, but for the most part I have been pleasantly surprised. I really can't even relate to that 25 year old girl, standing in the kitchen, who truly had no idea what life would bring her.
Aside from the memories of that night, my other major reason for loving holidays is getting to listen to my family members: their stories and interactions and the way they adore my children.
My grandmother (my mother's mother) is one of my favorite people on this planet. Many people who know me don't even know that I lived with my grandparents for several years and they really were parents to me in every sense of the word. Because of that, we have a very special bond.
My grandmother is the most positive person I have ever met. She is kind, gentle, happy and she loves unconditionally.
I over-heard her talking today. Someone asked her if she just started chemotherapy. My grandmothers reply was that she had been receiving treatments since she was 38 years old (she is now in her late 70's) for her terrible rheumatoid arthritis. I sort of knew this already, but hearing her say it was like a stab to my heart. I know what terrible pain and horrible treatments she has gone through for nearly half her life!
It's hard to imagine. And her pain doesn't end there. As a mother of two (yes two) sets of twins, plus a single, she lost a child when he was two years old. A pain I can't even pretend to know. And in the past few years she started to go blind and cannot see very much at all.
But here's the thing. This woman loves life. I have lived with her, and had thousands of conversations with her and I have never once heard her complain about her life, her pain, or really anything. She is in terrible amounts of pain at times, but never seems to mention it. In fact, not that long ago I asked her how it was to to through chemo treatments and her reply was "well your grandpa always takes me to Dunkin Donuts afterward and I get a juice and two other treats!" Talk about looking on the bright side. So many people could learn something from her about taking things in stride and focusing on what really matters to get you through.
She does everything she can to stay alive and healthy, including swimming every chance she gets and exercising regularly, because, as she say.."I am just not ready to die yet, I love my life."
I happen to be around some not so positive people on a regular basis and it is all too easy to get sucked into the negative talk of what I refer to as "doom and gloom" people. Being around my grandmother reminds me that your attitude towards life can make or break your own happiness and can even determine how long you live. It also reminds me what I should listen to and what I should let go in one ear and out the other when talking to older people about life.
I can only hope and pray that I can live this way as I age and things become harder physically.
So today I am thankful for my life, my husband and my grandmother..who is an excellent role model.