I think we forget throughout the year to give thanks to what we have – to who we have in our lives.  Even if we feel it, to not say it is like having a gift but not giving it.  Guess we could all be better about that – and not just in the month of Thanksgiving.

I am grateful for….

A husband who allows me to be me, encourages me to do wacky things like buy more camera gear or a ukulele.  A guy who knows who I am – beyond what people see – and let me be that person, giving me permission to be that person with those emotions even when I feel like people are not allowing me those things.  And loves me through it all – good and bad. I love you, G.

Two kids who bring so much laughter into the house by their goofiness and their intellect.  Who can come back with a quip as fast as I can.  Who continue to grow into their own person – not what society expects them to be or what others expect them to be – but who they are.  I love how they have crazy interests – crazy friends – and lives that make them laugh more than they cry.  And I love that they share who they are and what they feel so openly with us. Makes parenting a teen and a pre-teen so much easier.

A good friend (Derek) who has brought even more love and crazy into the house.  He is definitely part of our family – and has been missed.  I am grateful that he has brought more light into the house.  I am grateful that when I feel few are getting me, he can grab me by the shoulders, look straight into my eyes and say “I get you”.  He continually reminds us how amazing chosen families can be.  And how we all need a bit more “gay” in our lives.

A good other partner (SB).  While it may odd to include him in the current gratitude list – when I reflect on my past year, I have to include him.  He was a significant part of it.  He taught me a lot about myself through letting me be who I am and share with me who he is.  While the current pain is not easy, I have gratitude, love and respect for him  – and am thankful he was part of my life regardless of the current situation.  I am thankful for our time together – our adventures together – and the joy we found in it all.

My friends who have been there for me this past year – through good and bad.  Your continued support – the text messages and emails seeing how I am doing – the kind words.  In a time where it is easy to lose faith in humanity, I am grateful to have people in my life who do not lead me to be that cynical in that area.  Thank you.

My parents who continually remind me who I am and where I come from.  While they do not know all aspects of my life, they remind me how well grounded I am – and remind me why I think like I do. And on rare occasion why I don’t think like they do.

The rest of my family who adds laughter and great debate to every family gathering.

The many years with Bob dog in our lives.  I am thankful for Harry and Maggie – two dogs that add full contact wrestling to the entertainment in the living room most days.  And who cuddle as hard as they play. I am thankful for the person who gave up Maggie so she could choose us as her new home.  She has been a much needed edition.  And the cats who seem to always know when you need to have a lap warmer or middle of the night sleeping partner.

The fact G and I have employment and benefits and sick days.

That we have a roof over our head and food on our table.

While life can be a roller coaster of emotion and change, gratitude is what makes us realized how blessed we are.

May you use today to count your own blessings!

And thank you for reading.

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