I Am Thankful

2013-11-27 19.51.19A lot of people on Facebook have been writing what they’re thankful for each day. I’ve meant to do that, but haven’t gotten around to it. So, I figured I’d do my month’s worth of thankfulness all at once. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for. Most of us do, in spite of all of the hard things and sadness life throws at us.

I’m thankful for my new job (since September). I love working at a place that I already loved, for people I love, with a person I love, and for a God I love. I’m thankful that I am at a place in life where I can have a job like this. I sort of thought I might not ever work again after Amber passed. I’d not been in an office job since 1998 before now. I wasn’t sure if I could be good at it. So, I’m also thankful for my friend, Frances, who talked me into submitting a resumé.

I’m thankful for my daughter. Though her body is gone from my sight, though I don’t hear her wonderful laugh or see her deep, loving eyes right now, I will always be grateful for her amazing life and the privilege I have of being her mother. I miss her so much. I hate the empty room and the way I miss her sunshine presence, but, I would not trade a single thing about being her mom for any ease of pain.

I’m thankful for my husband. We’ve had our up and downs over the years. We’ve been hit hard a few times, but, I can’t think of anyone I’d rather be partnered with in life. We make a good team, and I love his creative mind, his tender heart, his wisdom, his crazy, wicked sense of humor, and his willingness to give people a chance. I am proud of him, of what he’s accomplished, of how he’s worked hard to make the kind of life for himself that he can enjoy, and how kind he is to people. I love how he’s lovingly molded our home into a beautiful place, and continues to envision improvements. I love how he exudes creativity, so that even his hobbies, things he does in his breaks between writing, are so well done that he’s making money from them (his resin molded ships and other sculptures, to be exact.)

I’m thankful for my family, who is loving, godly and always there for me. I love my sisters and how they surrounded me with support and care after Amber’s passing. Their thoughtfulness doesn’t amaze me, because it’s a part of who they are. They couldn’t fail to be thoughtful if they tried. I am thankful for my nieces and nephews, such unique, talented, loving young people. I’m proud of them, very proud. I’m thankful for my mom, and her tender heart. I’m thankful for the example she set for us of caring for older folks who need help, and caring for her first grade students throughout their lives, not just while they were in her classroom. I’m thankful for my step-dad, Elbern. Their marriage is something I’m thankful for every day. Elbern is loving, kind, godly and humble. I’m thankful that he’s healthy because we want him to be a part of our family for a good long while. He treats my mom the way she deserves to be treated. I’m thankful for my brothers-in-law, for how they care for my sisters and their children. They are upstanding men, responsible, godly, respectful, loving and fun to be around. I love how they all surrounded Amber with love and joy.

I’m thankful for the family I married into, the Blackburns. I’m thankful for my brothers in law, admiring them for their talents and hard work. They are very fine men. I’m thankful for Jolly’s nephews and their kids. I remember them when they were little, how much I loved them and I still do love them. I’m thankful for their tenderness with Amber, and how they are always willing to pitch in and help whenever they’re needed. I’m thankful for my father-in-law, who used to cut my grandpa’s hair, who’s wise and who has been a good dad to me since I first came into the family many years ago. I’m thankful for my mom-in-law, who is funny, kind, and one of the world’s best cooks. I’m proud of what a great teacher she was, and still is to her grandkids. I love how she and Amber had a special relationship. Amber was crazy about her, and the feeling was mutual. I’m crazy about her too.

I’m thankful for my pets. Violet is a special little dog, loyal, sweet, funny and comforting. She helped Amber overcome her fear of dogs, and sensed Amber’s need for gentleness. She comforted us so much after Amber’s passing, and she still amazes us with her wonderful spirit, always up for anything as long as we’re there with her. I’m thankful for our cats and how they and Violet get along pretty well, in spite of Violet’s bossy nature. They’re chilled out, never have shown a temper, don’t pounce on us, and even come when they are called. They have fit in nicely with our family, and Violet looks forward to seeing them every morning after a good sleep.

I’m thankful for my friends, so unique and wonderful. I love their loyalty, their concern and love for me, and for how they make me laugh and cheer me up when I’m down. God has taught me so much through knowing each one of them. I wouldn’t trade the amazing lessons I have learned from them for anything. I’m thankful for the friends we’ve made from all over the world because of Knights of the Dinner Table and Hackmaster. Fans have become friends and that is wonderful.

And, that leads me to wanting to express my thanks for Kenzer and Company, Knights of the Dinner Table, Hackmaster, Aces & Eights and everything that we’ve had a chance to be a part of. It’s been an honor to contribute even a small amount to these products. It’s a lot of fun to partner with my husband in putting out a regular gaming magazine and comic. We have both fallen in love with the characters in the magazine, and feel like they’re family. It’s a thing to be grateful for to be able to make a living doing something you love. I’m thankful for Jolly’s vision, his ability to turn that vision into reality, for his wonderful, amazing partners. They’re people we can trust, who have integrity and who are so brilliant that I feel honored to know them. It’s been a great 20+years.

And, most of all, I’m thankful for being loved by God. I’m thankful that Jesus has been with me through everything life has thrown at me. I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit has led me into greater knowledge and freedom to love every person, all types of people I’m thankful that God gives me the security I need so that I can face the tough issues and be safe enough to listen to people from all walks of life. I’m thankful for the teachers, mentors and pastors he’s placed in my path to help lead me to the transformation of my mind. I’m thankful for the authors who’ve shared such amazing truths and wisdom with readers. It’s exciting to me now to consider new ideas, where I used to be afraid of them.

These are just a few things I am thankful for. Yes, is a lot more I could write about to be thankful for. I could write endlessly about all of the blessings I’ve been given. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and that you can take time to be thankful for what you’ve been blessed with.