Thankful Part II: Family

This year I am most thankful for my family. This includes my friends. The people that love me without judgement, that stand by me without question and that are loyal to me without doubt. I read a great definition of family somewhere but can't remember the specifics. Basically, the breakdown was simple: not everyone that is blood-related can be considered family.  At times, God puts certain people in our lives that become the family that we come to depend on and vice versa.

I think I'm a good friend only because of the awesome friends that I have been blessed with.  This past year has brought the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in my life.  The bonus to having life situations is that you get to find out who your real friends are.  Who your real family is.  You get to sit back and watch the fake people that ask you how you're doing and hope you say great so that they can tell you about themselves.  The people that are hurting and want to lend a shoulder or a kind word because they know how you feel.  The people that want to share in your joy and rejoice with you because it makes them happy.  The people that are unhappy in their own skin and instead of looking in the mirror and fixing themselves choose to bring unhappiness to your front door so that you can share in their misery and drama.  The people that with a text or an email minister to your heart at just the right moment.

Dealing with my mother's cholangiocarcinoma has put a lot of things into focus.  As time has gone by, I feel that my vision has gotten even better at looking around and seeing what's important, who is important and when it's important.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for all the people who have touched my heart. My family, my friends.  The nurses at Florida Hospital Cancer Institute (you made up for the lackluster doctor that my mom had the misfortune of having).  Especially Claudette Anderson who was THE only nurse to get a blood return from my mami's port.  Her warmth was such that you crossed your fingers hoping that she'd be your nurse that day and though treatments could take 6-8 hours, we always seem to be out of there in the blink of an eye.  Claudette makes me wish I had a secret fortune stashed somewhere so that I can buy her some big fabulous gift for taking such good care of mami and of me.  Thank you does not seem to be enough.  I love that woman.

I am also thankful to our new team of doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Institute.  I feel like we now have the right army for battle.

Through the storm, God has blessed me with THE BESTEST child EVER!  Whose smile brightens my day even when there has been tears.  Who takes a little piece of my heart each and every day with one flip of her hands as she motions for me to "come here" in the same fashion that I do to her.  I am thankful for a man who knows just how to hold me when I cry so that my snot doesn't suffocate me.  Who prays with me and who, just by standing here, reminds me that God can heal.

I am thankful for my beautiful and strong mother who shows me each and every day the type of woman that I should be.  She doesn't complain, she doesn't bow her head. Mami looks at her disease and says: I'm not thinking about you! I have things to do. When I find strength within myself and wonder where it came from, I know it's from her X chromosome.  And who can't be thankful for a papi who just made a big pot of rice pudding just for his little girl? I mean really? Every day that I go to drop the frog princess off there is breakfast waiting on me. You thought you had it good but it's because you don't have my papi. He loves me through food and man, it makes me happy.

I have siblings that you could only dream of.  Siblings that I can sit down with and chat about anything.  A pair that can make you giggle til it hurts.  I am so grateful that they are around and so blessed that my little girl has them.  I have no words for the love that I feel for them.

I am thankful to my brothers from another mother and my sisters from another mister.  Your prayers are heard and so needed!  You have showered us with gifts throughout the frog princess's first year and a mere thank you is not enough (I would've gotten cards out to you all but, I've totally been slacking in a very un-mami-like fashion).  The gifts are great but the feeling of being loved is incomparable.

God plays a big part in my life.  On this and on every other day, I praise Him.  Even through this storm that we are weathering, I praise Him.  I continue to pray for my mami and for all of my family and friends.  I could write a zillion more blogs about being thankful and it wouldn't be enough.  So tomorrow, I will think about all the things that I am thankful for as I stuff myself with yummy food.  And I will do the same the day after and the day after.  Because Thanksgiving shouldn't be reserved for one little day in November.  I hope you can find at least one thing to be thankful for.  If you can't, feel free to borrow one of mine.  Happy Thanksgiving!