When I reflect on things I am truly thankful for my immediate attention goes to being a wife and a mother of 4 children (one on the way). But, what I’d like to allow you all to see and be a part of is a time in my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Growing up my family wasn’t a traditional family where Mom and Dad were married, worked and were at home in the evenings caring for the children. It was quite opposite. There were many times I felt discouraged by the lack of stability I saw in this make up of a family but there was an amazing alternative that was healing and what makes me who I am today.
I spent majority of my time with my grandparents and their wise souls were so enriching on every level. They took me with them in the summers to travel to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oregon and Washington. We’d see family and the love I received from them is something I don’t take for granted now. Growing up, they put me in gymnastics, supported my cheerleading, attended most games, took me to my orthodontist appointments and lunch after before I’d head back to school.
As I headed off to college, they attended my college cheerleading, sorority events, and my Grandma would come up to have lunch with me. I could tell my grandparents anything. They were supportive, they cared for me, they loved me the way I had always wanted to be loved and supported. They financially cared for me in addition to emotionally being my strength.
They taught me faith and always had me in church on Sundays. My Mima would teach Sunday school and my Pappy taught his adult class. They were actively involved and I never questioned my place in church. I felt at home with them. They made me feel safe even in times that I questioned my safety.
During college my grandmother got mentally ill and the medications they used to treat her resulted in her passing. It’s been 7 years and I miss her terribly but am forever grateful for her and who she was and continues to be in my life. 3 months ago my Pappy had gotten ill and was admitted to the hospital. He called me on August 6th at noon to check on me and I felt it was his way to always put me first, like he always has done. It was a brief conversation but one I hold dear to my heart. I said goodbye to my Pappy for the last time and that night at midnight, he passed away. What an amazing gift God gave me through my Pappy for him to call me one last time.
My love for these two incredible people is so deep. They taught me everything I know. My Pappy showed me the type of man I should marry and how to always rely on faith. His favorite verse was Proverbs 3: 5-6….Trust in the Lord.
Reflecting this Thanksgiving on my life and the love I was given is truly humbling. They loved me so much and the feeling was mutual. One of the greatest things a parent can teach their children is a foundation of faith. Not all children are given that firm teaching and foundation but I am so thankful I was given that. My childhood was filled with laughs, beautiful Christmases at my grandparents and Thanksgivings of plenty. My memories can’t be replaced and are who I am. And for that, I am truly thankful.