This may seem like a belated Thanksgiving Day post to some, but I assure you it's not! Everyone who knows me, knows that I am always timely (ha!). This post comes straight from my overflowing heart...
Not a day goes by that I am NOT thankful for my sweet babies. Both Eli and Finley have taught me more about unconditional love, true joy, and God's sacrifice for us; more than I would have ever learned on a solitary walk though this life. But this post is not about my children (even though THAT is the purpose of this blog)...
Today I am thankful for my husband. I am thankful for a man who loves the Lord unashamedly and loves his family above all else. Daniel is a man among men in this downtrodden world. I married him because I fell in love with his soul. He is one of the most compassionate, loving, and selfless men I have ever met. Sure he isn't perfect; he leaves his clothes and empty cups all over the house and watches a little too much football... but he is mine and I will cherish him for the rest of our lives. His love for our children has made me appreciate and respect him more than ever. I thank God for him every day, especially in this time of grieving. I could not ask for a better man to be by my side.
Today I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for a faithful father here on earth; a father who prays and walks with God daily. He is someone I admire above all others for his strength, his wisdom, and his unconditional love for his family. I am thankful for a mother who is kind and loving; a mother who has empathy and who is crippled by her daughter's pain. She is the mother I aspire to be. I am thankful for a brother and a sister with understanding; not a word need be spoken, but through the silence I see their love. I am thankful for in-laws who care and who are prayerful for the family they clearly love with all of their hearts.
Today I am thankful for friends. I am thankful for friends who drive 3 hours at a moments notice to cry with me and pray for me. I am thankful for friends who randomly text me their hilarious stories or even their petty complaints because they want to make sure that I am still treated like a human being and not like a ghost of who I was "before". I am thankful for friends who recognize that I want to talk about my daughter and who bring her up in conversation because they love her too. I am thankful for friends who don't know the right words to say, but can give me a look or send just a few words so that I know they are mourning with me. I am thankful for friends I have never met in person, but who constantly and genuinely express their love for me and my family. I am thankful that in a world that can be so cruel and confusing, I have met beautiful people to walk among when all is said and done.
Today I am thankful for healing. Although my heart will never be completely healed (and what heart CAN be in this world?), I am thankful for pieces of comfort.
I took the plunge this evening; I gathered all of the cards and letters that we have received in the mail throughout this past month, I sat on the couch, and I opened them one by one.
I don't know why I "hoarded" them for so long in multiple, big, UPS flat rate envelopes. I think part of it was the unfamiliarity with being the one in grief. Maybe if I didn't open them, then I wasn't the one who needed the sympathies of others... yeah right. Nice try, Kelli. I wish I would have opened them as they had come to me. It was simply overwhelming to see love come to life in the form of words. Lots of words:
Comforting words. Words of peace, words of hope, words of empathy, words of confusion and sadness, words of love. Words on store bought cards, words on homemade cards, words on scrapbook paper, words on notebook paper. Words in the form of poems and song lyrics. Drawings and sketches...
Words filled with LOVE.
I don't know a better way to reach all of the people who sent US cards and who sent Finley letters other than to put it HERE where our story was told.
To my family, to my friends, to those whom I have never met, to those I don't even know personally: I thank you from the deepest parts of my heart and soul. You have given me comfort. You have given me healing. Please know that your words were read and your words are cherished. I thank you.