I Am Thankful

I have a lot to be thankful for. I am married to my best friend. Someone I can laugh and cry with. Someone who challenges me and always has my back. We have been blessed with two wonderful children. I am fully aware of the fact that having children, healthy children, is not a given. I am thankful every day, even the difficult days, that they are in my life. Throughout my life friends and have come and gone and I am fortunate to have had them all in my life. My friends have supported me through some seriously difficult times in my life and I am truly grateful for the role they have in my journey.

Six years ago, we celebrated our first Thanksgiving as parents in the hospital. By this point the hospital felt like our home. Our son was over a month old and still hadn't been beyond hospital walls.

I have to admit, in the days leading up to the holiday, I began to get more and more depressed. I had naively convinced myself that we would be home within days so to be spending our very first holiday as parents in the hospital felt like something I couldn't face.

I woke that morning with an immense sadness weighing down my chest. My heart hurt. I felt hopeless. I wondered if we were ever going to get to bring our little man home. I was angry that instead of being at home building our traditions we were stuck inside the sterile halls of a hospital. I felt angry thinking of all of the families sitting around the table, toasting with their glasses of wine and plates full of turkey.

I was feeling a lot of mixed up emotions and none of them were thankful.

At just the right moment, my parents walked in carrying turkey, stuffing, cranberries, just about everything to make us a Thanksgiving dinner. Our nurses felt like he was strong enough to leave his room and join us in the hospital cafeteria. We packed him up in the infant carrier that sat in our car, unused, and off we went.

We gave thanks in a hospital cafeteria, while a TV in the corner showed "So You Think You can Dance." We smiled. We laughed. Our baby slept while we ate. He was with us and we couldn't be happier. We felt like a family.

Sometimes you need to be reminded of what you are thankful for and sometimes those things don't come wrapped in pretty little packages. Life can kick you in the ass and it's in those moments when you might need some help to remember your true blessings. My reminder that year came from some of the people in my life who will stand by us, even in our darkest moments.

Hopefully that was the last holiday we will ever spend in a hospital cafeteria. Our son was able to come home not long after that and we have spent every Thanksgiving since taking a moment to be grateful for the second chance we were given.

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