Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I am thankful...

My friend Elia started a thread about what we are thankful for over at the Nook (their online forum). Since I read the thread I have been thinking of the things I am thankful for. It may seem strange but the thing I am most thankful for in my life is the adversity that I have overcome.

I am thankful that I grew up in a wonderful loving family. My mother was quite sick when I was growing up and was in and out of the hospital a lot. I am thankful for that. I am thankful that through that, we are closer as a family. I have come to the realization that my father is a wonderful father and husband for sticking by my mom through it all and raising us when he my mother wasn't around. I think that because of my mother's illness, I am a more compassionate person and I am empathetic to the people around me who themselves face adversity.

I am thankful that I had a boyfriend in highschool who was verbally and mentally abusive. I am still affected by his actions towards me but I truly believe that I am in some ways a stronger woman because of it. I had the courage to walk away. I knew I deserved better. I never put myself into an abusive relationship again. I broke the cycle. I truly believe that coming through that pain brought my to my wonderful husband Paul. He is my best friend and soul mate. He treats me with respect and as his equal. He is everything I ever hoped a partner would be and he is the most amazing father for my children. I am extremely thankful for his patience with my sometimes low self esteem and residual scars from my past. He is warm, compassionate, and giving. He is everything I needed and everything I will ever want. He is who I strive to be. A wonderful, strong, compassionate person.

Last night I let a labouring lady through the doors of the hospital. She was about to have a baby and I felt a tinge of jealousy that I didn't get to experience labour and the natural childbirth of my two children. As I sat there thinking about it, I realized that I am thankful that I had difficult pregnancies and childbirths of my two children. I am not a natural mother and I believe that it was through this adversity that I have been able to form strong bonds with my children. I had pregnancy induced hypertension with both and that caused a bunch of complications.

Grace was born at 38 weeks via C-section after a failed attempt at induction. My birth experience was tainted by a terrible birth experience through which I experienced a huge amount of pain that I won't go into here. She was healthy. My husband, my pillar of strength yet again. My family came together and stayed with my through my labour. I became closer to my SIL in that day as well. I was not successful at breast feeding and spent many a night crying over that with my daughter in my arms. Through those first nights in the hospital, I was able to bond with my daughter. My daughter and I are extremely close now.

My son Simon was born during the height of the SARS crisis in Toronto. He was born at 36 weeks and had some difficulty breathing following birth which led to complications. He was transferred to Sick Kids at one day old and I left the hospital one day post-op to be with him at the hospital. The doctor only let me leave because of the SARS crisis. I am thankful that I was allowed to sit with my son and touch his hand. Until this time I hadn't even touched him! At 5 days old I was finally able to hold my son in my arms for the first time. I was overcome with emotion and bonded with him at that instant. Holding his little body with all the tubes everywhere. How lucky was I that I could hold my baby in my arms when so many lost their babies. There were other complications and Simon had to undergo surgery at 8 days old. I am SO thankful for the doctor that operated on Simon and the amazing nurses that cared for my son following the surgery. My son would not be here today had he not had his emergency surgery. I was an amazingly difficult time but I have a healthy, loving, and caring 3 year old today because of all of this and for that I am extremely grateful.

I also believe that I have some of the most amazing friends in the world. They are always there for me when I need them. I am so truly thankful for them. Maybe it was my adversity through life that brought them to me as well. They make me happy, they support me, and they love me no matter what mood I am in!

I was at the doctor's office a month or so ago and there was a poem on the wall. I read the poem and spent an hour searching the net for a copy of it. I found it! Read it....I was almost in tears in the doctor's office. We have so much to be thankful for.

Thanks for bearing with me through all this! And thanks for means that I have friends who care what I have to say and who respect my feelings and thoughts. I love you guys!!

I Am Thankful ... **
...for the taxes that I pay because it means that I am employed.
...for the mess I have to clean up after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.
......for the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.
......for my shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.
....for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.
...for all the complaining I hear about government because it means we have freedom of speech.
...for the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.
...for my huge heating bill because it means I am warm.
...for the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.
...for weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.
...for getting too much e-mail because it lets me know I have friends who are thinking of me.


Kimmie said...

Jen as always your words touch deep into my heart, you are the best of the best in what people should strive to be, and I am thanksful to have you as a friend!

patti said...

*sniff* *sniff* - what beautiful words Jen! Truly touching!!!!

Lori said...

Wow Jen...your words are inspiring to me. You definately have a deep appreciation on your life and all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for. What an emotionally touching entry. (said in my non cracking - because I'm almost crying voice)
I know have to think about this and post my "thanks"

elia said...

You have brought tears to my eyes Jen! Truly amazing words and so heart felt. I am very thankful for having you as my friend. I am glad that I could help you think about this - it was one of the moments for me when the rain was so strong outside (and I usually get a little scared) and I thought about the fact that I was thankful for having a home and then about the other things. Thank you for sharing this with us. Take care and huge hugs.


Teresa (aka tmom) said...

Wow, Jen you are words are incredibly touching! My emotions ran rampant while reading your post. Hugs to you for being such a strong person.

SmileyCarrie said...

What an amazing post... its beautiful what you wrote.. and the poem you shared is wonderful. thank you :)

Heather said...

Oh almost crying. I love that poem. TOtally reminds you about what is important in life. Great to see you blogging again.

Sue said...

What a wonderful list of things to be thankful for, Jen - thanks for sharing.
And the poem puts everthing into perspective, when we have lost the reason for the light at the end of the tunnel...
Happy THanksgiving!!

patti said...

Jen you have touched my heart... on such a dreary and rainy day, your words ring so true! We do have so much to be thankful for, and I think it is so easy to fall back on all the "wrong" we think we have... thank you so much for reminding us of all the good that we have!!!

Just Rhonda said...

Very beautiful Jen!

Marina said...

Ok, apparently I am really far behind, but your words are still touching even months after Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing this with us and sharing all the things you are thankful for.

I have seen that poem before as well, and I love it, it reminds us all the important things and not to take life for granted.

I too am glad to have you as a friend!!!!

Life's insanities by angela1044 said...

I just found this and I love that poem. Thanks for sharing.