30 Days of Thanks – Day 11 – Our Country, Our Freedom, Our Veterans

When I met my husband, he was in the Navy.  At the age of 24, which I was when I met him, that meant hot buns in a cool uniform.  Yeah, I said it.  My husband has a cool uniform.

It took me a while to realize the sacrifice that comes with getting that cool uniform.  Jim was injured while refueling a ship at sea.  His eyes sprayed with a chemical combination similar to the dip used to destroy the cartoons in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, his hand cut with a knife and requiring stitches, he stayed and finished the unrep (underway replenishment) before seeking treatment in sick bay.

The damage was done, even though we didn’t know it until some time later.  Days after the accident, he was repainting a portion of the ship, when a superior came by.  He pitched a fit, yelling at Jim about the paint job.  Jim scanned the work for missed spots or serious streaks, when the officer finally got in his face and screamed about Jim painting the area the wrong color.  Jim couldn’t tell.

After months of treating with Visine and Tylenol, he finally came home to see a civilian eye doctor.  The chemicals caused an oxygen deprivation to his eyes, there was scarring from the chemical splash, and his vision was beginning to deteriorate.  He would eventually become legally blind.

And my husband is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to men and women who have served, sacrificed, been injured or killed, all on our behalf.

Too numerous to count, too painful to think about, today is the day that we honor those who gave some and those who gave all for our country and our freedom.  The debt of gratitude is one we can never repay, and one they never expect us to repay.

For them, I am thankful; blessed and thankful.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 10 – Fakesgiving

The made up holiday, designed to allow my children to be home with me to celebrate “Thanksgiving” when they get older, while allowing them to spend the actual holiday “day” spending it where they’d rather be, has taken on a new meaning over the past couple of years that we’ve hosted.  Initially, it was just us, our family of five, fighting around the turkey, just like it really was Thanksgiving.  Someone was poking someone else; someone didn’t like peas; someone didn’t want someone else touching them; someone shouldn’t have hidden Mommy’s medicine that stops her eye from twitching.

A year later, with grandparents that hadn’t seen their college aged granddaughter since the summer, we decided to extend the invitation to grandparents.  All went well, no one got hurt.

This year, we included extended family and friends, and honestly, it just keeps getting better.

My mom, who has been so sick the past three years, came and saw my new kitchen for the first time since we redid it almost two years ago.  Neighbors from our old South Philadelphia neighborhood – that we hadn’t seen since 1976 – were here enjoying catching up on what’s transpired in 36 years.  Old friends that have become family and newer friends who we could not love more if they were family joined us in the stress free, no food fight Fakesgiving festivities, and it was awesome!

Day 10 of my 30 days of thanks is just that I am so thankful that we are surrounded by such amazing people.  The love and laughter that filled my house yesterday will carry me through the rest of the stress filled holiday season.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 9 – Long Sleeve Pants

It’s tough being a mom.  Oh, you already knew that?  I did too, but I wish I had known it before I had kids.  I might have stuck with goldfish.

When I have doubts about whether I’ve done right by my girls, raised them to be the kind of people I had hoped they would be, I am grateful for long sleeve pants.

What are long sleeve pants?

When Granuaile was much younger than she is now, at the ripe old age of 7, she had a funny way of putting things.  One thing that always made me laugh – and still does – is the description of clothing.  She always got the concept of shorts and short sleeved shirts, and the long sleeved shirt thing never gave her any trouble.  But when it came to long pants, I don’t think we imparted the right information to her.  If shorts were shorts, then longs should be longs, but she knew that wasn’t right.  Somewhere, in the twisted mind of the toddler brain, long pants became long sleeved (or sleeve, as G would say it) pants, and all was right with the fashion world.

It’s days like today that I live in thanks for days like the ones where we were looking for long sleeve pants.  I am grateful for the memories of the funny, quirky things my kids did and said, because it gets me through the days where I can’t find anything funny or quirky about them.  It’s been one of those days today, so for that reason, today, I am thankful for long sleeve pants.