But this April was particularly hard as I lost two family members, my Uncle Bill and my step-sister Dawn, and a very dear friend, Marcia. The grief is strong, and it hits hard at all the unexpected moments. I still haven't been able to put many words down, even in my journal, because the flood of tears and hurt and memories come, and I find myself caught in those feelings.
Talking about floods, my hometown was flooded last week, and I'm still unsure if the storage unit that has all of our stuff packed away in it truly stayed dry or not. This sent my mind into an darkly colored anxiety-fest.
I've prayed over and over again, "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21) And I find peace. Sometimes moment by moment, but it is there. Right when I need it.
I had to put all that out there, to say this: I'm thankful.
Even in the midst of the pain of loss. I'm thankful. And I have hope.
1. I'm thankful for friends, and most especially for my family, who have sat with me in my tears, and listened to my stories of those who I've lost.
2. I'm thankful for roller skating on the basketball court late at night, and learning to skate backwards.
3. I'm thankful for a new job that started this week, and working with an incredibly supportive team of amazing women.
4. I'm thankful Marcia Frame picked up the phone when I called her, crying, one cold November day. And I'm thankful my precious Katarina is ten years old, healthy, and here with me today.
5. I'm thankful for long conversations that bring understanding.
6. I'm thankful for driving way too fast down switchbacks in Sedona, with the windows down and the specially picked out classical music blaring. Pink elephants in bubbles. A soundtrack of fearlessness.
7. I'm thankful for Dropbox. When the SD card on my phone somehow ended up corrupted, erased, and forever broken this weekend, all of my pictures were safe, because they had already been automatically backed up in Dropbox. For free. (If you click this link and sign up, I make no money and you spend no money, but I do get a little extra space to store pictures in my account...and you get the protection of having all your pictures saved automatically. It was a huge blessing to me this weekend.)
8. I'm thankful for welcoming hugs, and a reminder of what it looks like to love through adversity.
9. I'm thankful for homemade library cards, old Nancy Drew books, and all the ways Katarina makes me smile every day.
10. I'm thankful for encouragement, no wrong answers, and the gift of being truly seen.
Those italicized thankfuls were memories I have held close to my heart the last two weeks. Memories I'm so thankful to have, and reminders that I was blessed to have these people in my life for the time they were on this earth.
What are you thankful for this week?