To say that I am thankful for family seems like an understatement of greatest proportion. Because of this....I will warn you in advance...this could turn into a lengthy post. I could write it in abbreviated form, but I think that I need to take advantage of this time to let ALL of my families know just how wonderful they are.
Crap, I'm crying and I haven't even really started yet. That's never a good sign!
My mom...I don't even know where to begin. She is a strong-willed, self-sufficient and stubborn woman. Sometimes it drives me crazy when she won't just sit still and relax, but it’s just not her nature. She's a "do-er." I guess that when you spend half of your life with 4 girls in your house, you probably just get used to always being busy (not that we were a lot of work or anything!) And as if we didn’t give her enough to keep her hands full, life has kept her busy though a series of curve balls…First and foremost being the death of my dad. I know what it is like to lose a father, but I can’t even begin to imagine (nor do I WANT to imagine) what it feels like to lose a spouse. Despite the pain that I know she had to be feeling, I don’t ever remember her falling apart…she remained strong and continued to live.
I was 13 when my dad died, but another of God’s curve balls came at my mother long before I, or any of my sisters for that matter, entered the picture. In 1970, my mom and dad lost their first baby girl to a variety of congenital heart defects. Yes, you heard me, CONGENITAL HEART DEFECTS. I’ve never really talked to my mom about this other than the details of her defects, but I’ve thought about it many times. I’m not sure why, but I don’t think that the gravity of this was ever very clear to me. I think that I likened it to something like a miscarriage. Maybe it is because it was so long ago and never a part of my reality? Maybe I was always too young to really understand?? I can’t honestly say. But now that I am where I am….I’ve come to a pretty tough realization. My mom LIVED my greatest fear. It almost makes me sick to think about it (maybe that’s why I’ve never brought it up before). Again, I can’t imagine. I have no desire to go into any further detail…all that I need to say is Mom, I love you. I admire your strength. I am thankful for you.
My sisters…Jill, Angie and Lindsey…Remember that day when mom and dad told you that there was going to be another baby in the family? I have been told that you cried and said “we don’t want another one. Send it back.” Remember that??? Well, I forgive you and I’m still thankful for you!
What a difference some time can make! They may have looked at me as the little “pest” who always wanted to be in their business growing up, but I looked up to them. I wanted to be just like them. Now I think of my sisters as my best friends. They are there when I’m bored and just want to pass time. They are there when I’m having a bad day and just need to cry. They dropped everything to be there for us when we needed them most.
Jill, I love that you are my “bad influence”…haha…you may not think that sounds like a good thing, but it is—Hear me out. Yes, you helped me justify buying a Coach purse. Yes, I was jealous when you got an iPad so I talked about it enough that Matt got me one too. Yes, I got a message from you once saying that you were getting a manicure, so I dropped everything and decided that I needed one too. Having said that, it’s really not about the THINGS. It’s more about me doing things for me. I’ve found that it’s easy to lose yourself when you have a baby. Charlotte is my world, and I wouldn’t change that for anything, but I can’t take the best care of her unless I take care of myself. Thank you for helping me do this, even if you didn’t realize that you did!
Angie, I hate that you live in Oklahoma; it’s just too far away. But since I don’t see you moving to South Dakota any time soon, I will have to settle for phone calls and text messages (some of my favorites are the ones where you just check in to see what Charley is doing.) When I was trying to think about what to write about you…one person kept coming to my mind. Dub. Through your relationship with Dub, I have seen just how big your heart is. You and Doug have brought so much happiness to that man’s life…and not because you felt obligated to do so, but because you WANTED to. That takes a special person. I can only hope that in addition to that red hair of yours, Charlotte also has your ability to make others smile.
Lindsey, I love that sometimes you call me for the sole purpose of reading me the jokes from a Laffy Taffy wrapper. Like a true great friend, I can call you for absolutely no reason, but manage to spend 30 minutes talking about random things. Things between us have always been fairly simple…in a good way. You send me diaper coupons in the mail, we talk about new recipes to try for dinner…but that is what I love about our relationship. It’s totally unintentional. I can always count on you for a good laugh or for those times when I just need to have a mini-breakdown. Sometimes I just need someone to listen…not to have all of the answers…but to listen. Most times that person is you.
I’m thankful for the Goeser girls. Oh so Thankful.
More family “thankfuls” to come!