Okay, so today is my 48th birthday and as is typical for the wife of someone in the fire service, I will spend it alone. It's just me and the "boys" (my doggies), again. I spent my 20th anniversary last year alone (hubby was on a huge wildland fire) and I have spent I don't know how many holidays without my husband. It took almost 25 years of service before he had the seniority to bid Christmas off. But you know what, that really is the life of the significant other (in this case wife) of someone in the fire service, and multiple other fields. So instead of feeling all gloomy, I think I'll focus on what I am thankful for. So, here goes ...
I am so very thankful for my husband, you know, the one who is gone for a minimum of ten 24 hour shifts each and every month and usually a whole lot more. He is truly my best friend, and has been there for everything, the really good times and the really challenging ones (I think a broken leg falls into that category!). I am thankful for almost 21 married years (22 years together) with the best man I could have wished for and who shares so many similar interests it is almost scary at times. We are truly a team, and work together through everything like a well-oiled machine. He helps me laugh when I really need to (weird fire-house humor and all), and holds me when I just need a hug. We can talk about anything, and both love learning just for the sake of learning; how cool is that. And of course, we both love working through projects. We love a good challenge. Yep, he's a big "I"m really thankful" part of my life.
I am thankful for my daughter. It was not easy for me to have a child, and she is a God-send. She is the most awsome person to watch grow into a young woman, and sometimes I wonder just who is the teacher. I am in awe of her abilities and capacity to think matters through and come to really good solutions at the ripe old age of 14. It is amazing to watch her. I am also thankful for the years I had with her homeschooling her. I had the priveledge of watching her have many ah-ha moments in the learning process. My husband and I had the joy of taking her places to "live" the learning process, and that was incredible. I have nurtured from the time she was born an open discussion policy, a "safe haven" in the home belief, and even though having reached what is supposed to be the "worst" age (adolescence), we continue to be the best of friends and talk about everything. I absolutely am thankful for that.
And now, much to the surprise of you BLers out there who I am sure thought this would come first, I am thankful that I am walking again, without a crutch, cane, or anything. Each day I continue my work towards recovering full usage of my leg and slowly but surely, it is coming back. I am also REALLY thankful that when this break occurred I could flip over and crawl on my hands and knees back to the house and did not lay in the driveway slowly getting buried by snow and freezing to death.
I am thankful for my two beloved doggies, Buddy and Cody, who long before this break kept me from being lonely and bored, and throughout the recovery period were always there to be goofballs and make me laugh during my darkest periods. To me they are no less than furry little people and I would do anything to make their lives the best. They have given me so much.
And yesterday, as I scaled 12 feet up a ladder to paint my daughter's bathroom, I am thankful for proving to myself that I do not have to view life as a fearful place following this break. There is a strong mental component to this break, and that takes just as much willpower to overcome as the pain and recovery from the break itself. I see so many things as "You could break something" hazards now, but they don't have to be. The fact that I slipped on ice after 47 years of life and broke my leg is a fluke, not a prediction of things to come. It's all perspective.
I am so very thankful for where I am fortunate enough to live, in a lovely home my husband and I built with our own two hands, in the most beautiful of areas. Every day I wake up and look out the windows at two massive, awe-inspiring snowcapped mountains surrounded by pine trees, and just simply smile. They are still truly the best therapy for me.
So, even though I will spend my birthday alone today, I really do have a lot to be thankful for. That in and of itself is the greatest present of all...