Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanks

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."-- Albert Schweitzer

This Thanksgiving I have so much to be thankful for. The thing that stands out most in my mind is the people in my life. I would not be where I am today without them. Today I feel as if I need to acknowledge them and their part in who I am.

My parents: I am grateful to both of my parents for who they are as individuals. I appreciate their attempt at being a family and even more so, their decision to divorce. I am so glad that they taught me to be strong, independent and determined. I am actually grateful for their differences and arguing because it taught me a lot about what I don’t want and how I don’t want to be as well. Most of all I am grateful that, for the most part, they accept me for who I am with my faults and eccentricities alike.

My sister: Our life together has been quite a ride. We went from two little pawns stuck in the middle of our parents arguing to knowing that all we had was each other. We have had our ups and downs but I always known in the end she has my back and even though she doesn’t always see it, I always have her best interests at heart. She was a great example to me as a kid and she continues to inspire me today. I am also grateful for her wife who is a very kind and charismatic personality. She deals with my sister in a way that I have never seen anyone do before. She rocks!

My Mandy: How many people can say that they have had a best friend that has been by their side since birth? We are 6 months apart in age and that is the only 6 months of her life that she hasn’t known me. Manda will have her very own blog post very soon because there is just too much to say here. Her influence on my life has been overwhelming. She is one of the most peaceful, gentle and patient people that I know. If you asked me today who my soul mate is, I would tell you it is this fantastic woman.

The Theiligs: Manda’s parents and my 2nd parents. They were my first example of love, support and forgiveness. Seeing their family and the support that they all were to one another was a fantastic example to me of how a family should be. I have always been welcomed as family in their home and treated as one of their kids. I am grateful for the years of wisdom, love and influence of these 2 people in my life. They have also been a great source of spiritual healing and peace for me.

The Gramlich’s: They are the parents of my friend Leigh who died in a car accident in 2000. I lived with them briefly in high school. They took in a wayward girl because they saw promise. They also always loved me as their own. I learned what a real family dinner was under their roof. We had family meetings to discuss things that affected everyone which was just unheard of where I came from. The Gramlichs taught me about myself and digging deep within to find the true person that I was without all of the pain and embarrassment of my childhood. They gave me confidence, unconditional love and one of the very best friends a girl could ask for. We will always be connected by their daughters beautiful spirit and for that I am also eternally grateful.

My girls: Forgive me but I am going to shout out as many as I can here and now. To Dawn and Bri for the amazing high school times and continued friendship. There are certain memories and catch phrases that will live forever between us (Redheaded bulimic bitch from hell, to name one). To my grade school girls: Anna, Stacy, Lacey, Amanda and Joanna; you were there for the formative years. I have memories from those times that I will take with me forever and I am so glad to have found you all again. The reunion committee girls that have become a lifeline; we may not talk daily but I know you are there and I am grateful. Brooke, Gina, Nichole, Joanne, Meaghen…all of Leigh-Leigh’s girls; we share a bond and a loss that no one else quite understands. I am grateful that I have you in my life to continue sharing those memories and even my sadness sometimes. Laura (honorable mention to Joe, he’s my boy) has been an amazing friend over the past few years and a huge support to me throughout the CL saga. Nicole…there are so many of you but my single sister in crime! I am so thankful to have my girl Rachel back in my life after too long of a hiatus. I missed her and her freindship so much. I am also grateful that things are the same or better than before. She is a true soul sister to me as well.

My Culps peeps: You don’t work at a place off and on for 8 years and not make a few friends. My marriage to my gay hubby was born out of the pits of Culpeppers. Then I met my gay boyfriend, Aaron, which was a life changing experience. JL, Crystal and Mama Dawn; I spent hours talking about my life with you and listening to yours. We will always be family even after that shit hole is torn down and gone.

My Gays: OH, my gays! Of course, hubby Matt and boyfriend Aaron have been lifesavers over time. We spent many a drunken weekends at the club together. I have never had more fun in my life than when out with the perfect group of gays. That would include: Sean, Ryan, Bryan, Dean, Kris, Jeff and Mike and anyone else who will get on stage with me. Also to what I call my junior gays: Nick, Cameron, Keith: it has been a pleasure to watch you learn and grow. These boys have provided tons of laughs, much love and healthy doses of drama at just the right times.

My family members who are friends: Cousin Angie in Utah. We talk almost daily most of the time. We are very alike and VERY different but we both love and appreciate each other for those differences. Cousins Gene and Wendy, we lost touch for years but talking to them again is like no time was lost. They are still amazing people with genuine souls and I am grateful to have them back in my life.

My extended Facebook friends: The people who comment on my quotes, pep me up when I am down or just make me laugh with their antics. You have no idea how boring my job is sometimes. Seriously, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Oldies but goodies: Tina and Howie; solid friends for the past 20 years. They and their young brood of children used to serve as my birth control. Now all of their high school aged kid’s tower over me. We do not agree on a lot of things politically and otherwise but we can discuss our differences and respect our friendship and I appreciate that immensely.

My CSI peeps: Also worked there for the better part of 5 years. I left with the only thing worth anything and that was my friendships. Jennifer, Brandi, Melissa, Shannon, Monica, Heidi, Lisa, Brenda, Abbye…you know who you are. We don’t talk much but again we shared some good years of our lives and always just pick up where we left off. There were great guys too. I am so happy to have reconnected with Big Will (thanks FB), Kevin, Alex…again too many to name but you get the point.

My new friend Gina G. has been a huge support in the past 2 years. She just might be the best thing to come from CL.

Kari: My body double, pool companion and sister in crazy fro hair. Millions of laughs, a few tears and many a years of solid friendship; I am so grateful!

My girls at work: There are only 2 and they don’t even know about this blog but they provide so much support to my workday and my life. They aren’t afraid to discuss inappropriate things at inappropriate times and I love them for it.

My old bosses and opportunities: Some of you sucked, some of you didn’t. I am grateful for the experience and knowledge…oh, and the money!

I am also grateful for the hard times and hardships that make you able to appreciate the good. Life really is all about perspective. The first few weeks of this CL saga all I could see was what I had lost. Once I changed my perspective to see the many amazing people that were stepping up and showing me love I couldn’t help but see the silver lining. I am a lucky girl. This will all work out how it was meant to but in the meantime I am surrounded with some of the most wonderful people a girl could ask for. I love you all! Happy Turkey Day;-)

P.S. I may have forgotten a few people but anyone reading this has a place in my heart.

4 comments:

  1. Great post. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving! :)

    p.s. I cant believe you and your bf have been together THAT long. since birth? thats crazy

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  3. If we didn't have a crazy childhood we wouldn't be who we are. I am proud of you and the woman you have become.

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