Thankful

I know it seems like I’m all about grieving over here, and I guess I kind of am. But there are a number of things I’m thankful for this year which I feel need individual acknowledgment.

This year I’m most thankful for…

1. Every moment I had with my mother. No matter how difficult or emotionally heartbreaking, I wouldn’t trade a moment of it for anything.

2. My aunt Karen who pretty much moved right into my house for nearly a week. Without her there is no way I would have been able to honor my mother’s wish to die at home. Without her teaching me how to care for someone in a bed, I would have had to hire strangers to take care of mom at the end, and I’m so grateful, so INCREDIBLY grateful that Karen’s help allowed me to keep mom at home and be cared for by family and not in a cold hospital bed surrounded by strangers. Karen was a rock and I will be forever grateful for all she did, without me even having to ask. She just called one night and said “why don’t I spend the night,” and then stayed. And for making sure I’m “doing things” and not just wallowing here at the house.

3. My uncle Jimmy and cousin Allison. Without their support of Karen, without their help with things like grocery shopping for popsicles and bringing whatever Karen needed from home, without them stepping up, again without being asked, things would have ended differently. Especially Allison who makes sure to drag me out to lunch on a regular basis. Even if she doesn’t listen for a YEAR when I tell her she’ll love the Kowalskis.

4. My cousin Chris for flying in for mom’s funeral. I wasn’t sure he’d get the time off, but he did, and it meant a lot to me that he was there. Congrats on your promotion!

5. My mom’s best friend of 40 some odd years. When Karen couldn’t stay any longer because she had to work, I called Susie and all I said was “I need help. Can you come?” She was camping in Mammoth that night, and without hesitation said “I’ll leave in the morning.” She drove from Mammoth down to Irvine to pack and then back to my house. She was with me when mom passed away, and I will forever be grateful she was. She was able to help me in ways I’m not even sure my family could have, because they were dealing with their own massive grief. I will always be grateful for Susie’s presence and support that night.

6. Janie and Robbie, my Godparents, for giving me a place to go when I want to run away from home. For treating me like another daughter and just doing normal things while I’m there and not making me feel like I’m a guest. Also, thanks for letting me cuddle the grandbaby Kalea. She’s adorable and will be the wooliest baby in town. LOL I know how hard it is for grandparents to hand over the grandkid, so thanks.

7. Heather for the Day of Kittens.

8. Barbra for the Day of Puppies. (Yes, the same day.)

9. My knitters Barbra, Heather, Amy, Maridee, Kara, Alyson, Robyn Robin (Sorry!), Elizabeth and Thom for being willing to listen no matter what. For not telling me to be quiet because they’re tired of hearing about my craziness. For taking time off from work to come to my mom’s funeral and when I said it wasn’t necessary, all looking at me like I was crazy and replying “Well, of COURSE we’re coming.” Thanks, too, for not vocalizing the implied “you idiot!” For being there through good, bad, and moths.

10. Alyson and Bob. OMG, dudes. You have done SO MUCH for me through the years I can’t even begin to repay you both.

11. Marilyn. For everything. For making me quilts, for taking me on vacation, for making sure I get out of the house once in a while, for volunteering to help me with anything I need help with and for not judging when “my” house isn’t as clean as “mom’s” house. Yes, I cleaned the kitty litter today. *grin*

12. Cynthia for…well…being Cynthia. For giving me space when I ask for it and realizing I’m not snubbing her. I just need space. For the tissues at the graveside and for the herding of people when I needed a few minutes. For listening when I call her crying because of an e-mail and being ready to rip people’s faces off because they made me cry.

13. Nat. My “sister”. She knows why.

14. The Magnolias. When I said I couldn’t review books for a while EVERY ONE OF THEM stepped up and asked what they could do to help. They listened when I wanted to talk, and didn’t even hate me when I made them cry. LOL. Love you, girls!

15. For all the friends I’ve made this year, both online or IRL. You have all made this year so much more bearable. You’ve made me feel like I’m not alone and have entertained me while my life seemed to be out of control. You’ve all kept me busy with new books and have made me laugh on days that truly sucked.

Lynda the Guppy
aka A Grateful Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks

Thankful

Today (and every day) I’m thankful for:

…My mom and dad for everything.

…Both my aunts and both my uncles for doing everything they do for my mom.

…My cousin A for all the “so there’s this book…” phone calls and black friday shopping and Ireland and going to the beach late one night in the middle of winter to get sand to send it to a soldier friend who was stationed in the middle east.

…My cousin C for for…well…being C and never learning to walk, but rather learned to strut, also the mohawk, and for choosing to serve his country. We miss you.

…My family back in Chicago, and even though I haven’t been back in years, and even though I’ve been bad about keeping in touch, I’m especially thankful for my Cousin S for reaching out recently and chatting with me like we last spoke yesterday. I DO miss you all. Wish I could be there for Christmas. Hey, does anyone have D’s recipe for those fruit pierogi? 

…My friends A and Cyn and T for being there all these years no matter what. You know that saying “friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies”? Well, that’s these three. I know I could call them any time day or night and they’d be on my doorstep with shovels, no questions asked. 

…My “old” knitting friends for being there every week and checking in with me to see how I’m doing and for making sure I’m hanging on, and for doing everything they can to help keep me going. 

…My “new” knitting friends for allowing me to crash their party and make me feel like they’ve been waiting for me to join in. 

…My friends, both “real” and “cyber”, for all they’ve brought to my life through the years.

…My yarn stash for being there and saving my sanity.

…The Container Store for making it that much easier for me to shop my stash.

…My local yarn store for allowing me to come in and just sit and knit without buying anything. Well, without buying MUCH. 

…and for everything else I didn’t list. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and spent it with those you love. I know I did.

Love,
Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks
aka A Thankful Guppy