On Thanksgiving, I will give thanks. To 2013, thanks.
To this year of problems with no clear solution, thanks. To this raging test of my character, thanks. To the strengthening of old friendships and building of new, thanks.
To remaining on the right side of the dirt, thanks.
The sun rises and it rises again. It is always orange and it always burns if you get too much. Thanks for this sun.
For January. When I was able to go back to work full time, yet keep a day off to spend with my special precious squidge. I'm tired all the time, but I get to be near him five of seven days a week and get to actually hang out with him three of those days. I am seeing him progress. And I have seen some of the 'firsts'. The firsts I thought I'd miss entirely.
Lucky lucky mama. Thanks.
For February. When our beautiful boy turned one. Lively, healthy, thriving, facing all the low expectations. Ignoring them. Destroying them. Proving the doctors wrong.
Yes. THAT. Yes. YOU.
Maybe I didn't need to do it after all. HE will do it. Pay attention.
For March. When I had the fortune to spend the last 11 days of my father's life with him, before he left this life for whatever is beyond it. For the shortening of his torment from that ridiculously evil illness. For the torment through sorrow that reminds me I am alive and gives me gratitude every minute for that life, no matter how challenging. Even when someone opens the cupboards and starts chucking the Le Creuset at my face.
For April when I decided to honor Dad with a charitable tribute and I ran. And ran and ran and ran.
For May when I knew I was ready to make all that running count.
For June when I didn't stop running for that hour. I didn't stop running to keep that promise. To wear that medal and to submit my donations to those who cure, whose love transcends all illness, whose love lifts the spirits of all the worried, whose love embraces the sorrowful in our time of loss.
For July when I celebrated my independence from the most toxic person I know, having been threatened with 'ending'. I wish you healed, but you will not take from me any more. I don't wish to know you. I don't have to. Call whoever the hell you want. You are irrelevant. Goodbye.
For August when there was sun, and there was my son. And the sea and the summer. For August.
I loved August. Thank you August.
For September, when Dad's birthday came and went without me making that annual call. I had to chat with his memory instead. I looked at the card I'd bought, the one I knew I would never give him. For the dinner we had in his honor on that birthday, concluded with a spare Ketel One, served in the Santa Claus mug he'd drunk his coffee out of when we had him here for Christmas. We emptied that mug with a toast to the sky and the mug sat on the table for a month before I could bear to wash it.
Thank you Pop.
For October, when my birthday came and went without that other call. When I failed that ridiculous driving test. When I had the sense to sack the world's shittiest instructor and two lessons later passed that ridiculous driving test. With the world's best instructor.
Thank you, MY friend Glen.
For the offer on our house. The right offer. From the right people. For our offer on the other house being declined, now that I've found out more about that particular neighborhood. For making us keep looking for the RIGHT house.
Thank you St Joseph.
For November, when that old playground bullshit came back with a vengeance from the most surprising of places. For not having Dad to call to draw strength from, yet still he was here, in my heart. For that knowledge giving me the strength that I needed to say bring it on. Try me. Show me your worst. I got this. I am justified. You are blind.
For that attitude Dad (and Mom) either gifted or cursed me with (I have yet to decide) which says 'if you like me, great, if you don't, I don't give a shit. I am ME. I will not change for you.'
And I won't.
For a year fraught with challenges, and for its impending end.
For the ability to rise above it all.