Giving Thanks

*There are likely some typos / grammatic errors….and this is incomplete.  But I will feel much better if I post this today rather than wait and perfect 😊

Today is my first Thanksgiving Day without Autumn by my side.  Our first was in 1997, shortly after we started dating.  I’m currently in an airport sitting across from Gate C12, in front of a Tram entrance, waiting for my daughter to land and unsuccessfully trying to hold back the tears.  It has been just over 9 months now – my heart is broken.  I suppose I used to imagine all the sad and alone people during the holiday season – today I am one of them. Spoiler alert – it’s not awesome. Thankfully, we have some of Autumn’s family we will be with later today.

I attend a grief group regularly which happened to meet this week before Thanksgiving Day.  This week, the facilitator Rosie, recommended we take some time to write a thank-you letter to our lost loved one(s).  My list of thankfulness to Autumn is deep and wide – with rabbit trails that lead in so many directions.  Here are a few of the main things swirling today in my cloudy brain today

I am thankful to Autumn for…

  • Choosing me, giving me a shot and saying yes
  • Being my best friend, my person, the ice cream that filled the empty spaces
  • Falling in love with a small-town country bumpkin trying to find a different path
  • Encouraging me to imagine what could be, to take risks, to push myself beyond my own perceived limitations…
    • supporting the decision to move to Moline, IL from Minneapolis, MN
    • advocating for the move to Brazil, India and pushing my career forward
    • encouraging new opportunities including a failed attempt at law school
    • challenging me to finish my MBA in the middle of some career and medical challenges
    • helping make the move back to Minneapolis, MN and the change careers
    • agreeing to move to Fort Wayne, IN
    • being patient as my perspectives expanded over the years
    • being a role model to be “confident in one’s own skin”
  • Putting others first…
    • withdrawing early from St. Catherine’s to be a mom – whole heartedly
    • taking the lead on parenting, home schooling and managing her health
    • persevering through the endless challenges of her compromised physical health
    • not losing focus in spite of the deep sadness from two difficult parents
    • prioritizing me during my recover from pancreatitis
    • being infinitely open minded and supportive
  • Elevating the standard for us to live by…
    • leading the way out of our childhood religion into happier calmer state of being
    • pursuing and sharing the benefits of stoicism, medication, etc
    • cultivating a love of learning and knowledge
    • constantly focusing on both our physical and mental health
    • starting our two daughters on musical instruments while still toddlers
    • introducing me to countless new things and ideas
    • accepting and acknoledging the things that cannot be changed or controlled
    • creating a family of friends and new family relationships
    • being the eternal optimist right up until the end
    • the encouragement to dig deep, and maybe not so wide
    • sharing your love of natural beauty – the ocean, mountains, birds and animals

My apologies for all the bullets….my brain is whacky that way ☹.  

Love and hugs to all who are listening and reading.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Andrew

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