Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This blog is centered around what I've lost and what is wrong with my life, I realize:  the death of my daughter, losing my mother, why those things happened and how I deal or don't deal with them, etc.  For once, therefore, I would like to set all of that aside and concentrate on what I do have.  The things that, on this Thanksgiving Eve, that I am thankful for:

Marissa, my travel and football watching buddy, I am so thankful for you.  I am proud of you.  You have struggled through your own addiction and eating issues to become a college sophomore on the Dean's List.  You are thoughtful and kind, being sensitive to the mourning your dad and I have done and still have to do, which has kept us sometimes - often probably - from supporting you in yours the way that we should.  There is no one I would rather spend the day in the stands of Heinz Field with or stuck in a musty airport with than you.

My private zoo - I don't know how I'm going to get all six of the dogs and the two cats safely back to my little house in Pennsylvania, but I'll do it because there is not a one of those creatures who don't make my heart overflow.  They have loved us and comforted us through years and years of neglect as we spent more time trying to wrestle with all the human dramas than their silent needs and wants.  They've gone without a lot that other dogs in our income bracket get routinely and they still love me unconditionally.  I hope they are happy in the little spot I have picked for us and them, but whatever they truly think about this strange new world, I know they will still love me and trust me in a way only dogs can, so they'll accept it and adapt.  I love them for it.

My friends and family.  You've kept the faith even as I've gone fairly crazy.  In the last year and a half, and even before, you have suffered your own losses.  You've had your own triumphs.  You have needed support or at least recognition that I've not been present for.  Yet you've stuck by me.  During those months, I've chronicling our journey after losing Kelsey, leaving it all pretty much out there, but the fact of the matter is you can't really stand in my shoes, just as I can't stand in yours.  But I have a strong network of friends who have chosen to stand next to me, no matter where I am in the process.  I am blessed, and I know it.  Thank you.

My Pennsylvania realtor, Peggy Stouffer.  She took a leap of faith on someone who contacted her by email a few months ago, took me seriously and not only helped me look for houses half a country away, but screened the house I now actually own, having never met me.   She buffered me from a difficult seller, she spent a lot of extra time making sure I had what I needed to make me comfortable before I actually sat down at the closing table all for a modest commission on a modest home.  She has my unreserved endorsement.  I am so thankful I lucked into her through pure chance.

Pittsburgh sports.  Sounds stupid, but I rely on the Steelers and now the Penguins to give me some joy in a bleak process.  When I'm screaming my head off at the ref for calling yet another stupid and unnecessary penalty on James Harrison, I'm not thinking about anything else.  I escape all the harshness of my reality for those moments.  Granted, I take the losses hard, but I love the wins and am so thankful for each and every one of them.  Thank you, guys, for playing for my entertainment.

Thanks to all our service men and women.  Do I need to say more?

Finally, but not least, thanks Greg.  I've been mad at you as much as I haven't over the last few months, but you're hanging in there.  You're allowing me to drag you off to a strange place on a lark.  No one gets "It" quite like you do, because you're in the middle of "it" too.  I complain a lot, I admit it, but the world would be a desolate place without you.

There's much more, but, having caught a bug in the confines of air travel, I am about to be most thankful for my bed and fluffy pillow.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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