It’s very, very late, or early, depending on your perspective.
I spent all of yesterday evening baking for the family that is coming over later this morning (it’s after midnight as I’m writing this).
I began thinking about what to write for this holiday post, and of course, with it being Thanksgiving, my mind turned to the things I am grateful for.
This has been an interesting year in many respects.
There have been some highs and some lows.
The lows have been especially rough.
In May, we lost Aubie, our beloved fur baby, after having her in our lives for nearly fourteen years. I still have not recovered, and tears quickly come when I think of her or pass by her collar, which hangs near my kitchen table.
In early June, I went through a difficult time at work and left for the summer trying to extract the knife that had been thrust into my back. It was not fun, and I spent the entire summer healing from the wounds inflicted on me.
In August, I moved my Chicky out of my home into a house she had rented with two roommates. It was a bittersweet time.
A few short weeks later, she experienced a season-ending injury that devastated all of us.
Mama Dot’s passing a few weeks ago was so sad as a chapter in all of our lives came to a close.
Just two weeks ago, I learned that one of Chicky’s childhood friends had been killed by a drunk driver. My heart continues to grieve for her family.
I haven’t listed the above events to obtain sympathy, for we must all bear burdens.
I write of them to remind me and explain to you how God’s grace has led the way through the dark times.
If you read my blog regularly, you know that God opened up the way to Chicky’s first teaching job shortly after she got hurt. She’s now been teaching one month, and though it has been difficult, she’s coming into her own, making “big girl” money and becoming financially independent.
Her rehab from her injury and subsequent final game during Senior Night (playing over twenty minutes) inspired so many people, and her surgery next month and the recovery that will follow will ultimately strengthen her.
My time in the wilderness after being so hurt at the end of the school year led to a summer of much-needed rest and introspection. I drew closer to God and found a small group at church that forged close bonds.
Aubie’s passing made me realize how I’d taken her presence and her joy for life for granted. I spend as much time with Pele, Molly, and Gambit now, and they are showered with even more love than before, if that’s possible. I realized, after Aubie died, just how much of a family member she was, and I don’t want to have any regrets with my other fur babies. I know they are animals, but they have unique personalities and contribute so much to my family in the love that they give unconditionally.
Rooster’s return home to attend college locally has been a blessing. I missed him terribly last year, and having him come out and greet me when I get home from work soothes the sadness I feel by Chicky’s absence. Conversations with Rooster are full of lots of love and sarcasm. He’s an amazing young man.
I am thankful for the classes I have this year. The students are well-behaved, don’t curse in front of me (at least not very often), and ultimately seem to appreciate my attempts to help them.
I could go on for days, but I won’t.
I will say, though, that as I think about the good and bad times, I clearly see God’s hand in all of them.
From the special song He put on the radio the morning after Aubie passed away to the email that was delivered to Chicky’s inbox days after being hurt…He was there, making Himself known, letting me know that no matter what happens, He is holding me up with His strong hands.
Today, I am thankful for God’s mercy, extended to me.