Uncle Ken and Aunt Margaret
I am grateful that I inherited Uncle Ken and Aunt Margaret when hooking up with Pete. I expected my mother and my sister to love my children beyond all measure, but I never anticipated "total strangers" would bestow the same love onto them. And onto me. I am grateful that we were able to spend time this summer with them. I am grateful that my sister dropped her life to let me dump mine in her lap to be with Pete and Margaret in England after Ken died. I am grateful that I got a dozen good years of laughs and barbs and photos out of that man before he died.
I am grateful that Pete's cardiologist is the best in the county and that, rather than wait until the next appointment 12 months later, decided to just take a closer look at the odd blip he thought he saw. Thank you, Dr. S., for keeping the widow-maker heart attack at bay. Were it not for him, I would likely have been widowed months ago. The triple bypass was a success. My children get to bug the shit out of their father day in and day out. Clearly, Dr. S. needs a nice Christmas card from us this year.
Our house is not in danger of being foreclosed upon. Our bills our paid on time. Our kids get what they need...and then some. We made good financial decisions years ago that enable us to weather hard times. And although the day may come when I need to hold out a sign that says, "Will work for health care," that day has not yet come. I shop at Costco to save big bucks on staples. I shop at a discount grocery store to save money. But I do not need to go to a food bank, and so I gratefully donated a $20 bag of food to the Kiwanis collecting outside of Lucky today. Because I can. And anyone who can...
A Large House
That isn't in danger of being foreclosed upon. [No reason not to repeat that, right?] It is large enough that we have moved Eldest down into the family room, where he has all the trappings of a teenager on the prowl. [If by "prowling," I mean playing Xbox Live.] It is large enough that Youngest moved into Eldest's vacated room and promptly filled it up with all the trappings of a wannabe musician and writer. It is large enough that Daughter can move her girly toiletries to our bathroom's second sink, away from stinky boys. It is large enough that, when we tire of each other, we can go our own way, yet still always find each other again.
It allows me to keep in touch with people who mean the world to me, but live as far as half a world away. New Zealand. England. Florida. Santa Monica. San Jose. The middle school down the road. Thanks to this blog, to email, to Skype, to Twitter, to texting, to cell phones, to landlines, I can give and feel love as if someone is right next to me.
Okay, yeah, it's been a shitty year in the health department. I'm operating at about 75%, which is better than the 30% it was for a bit. And tough-guy Pete acts like he's at 100%, but it's likely more like 75%. [Being a tough guy, though, he lets his wife do all the complaining about pain.] But we are here. And we plan to be here for a long time. And our children are the epitome of good health. What more can we ask for, really?
Those People I Write About All the Bloody Time
I'm not only grateful that their antics give me great blog fodder, I am grateful for eternity that Pete and I found each other and that we managed to produce those three beings we call offspring. Take away any one of them, and my life is over. I'm grateful that they are and I'm hopeful that they will always be.
The scribblers on Sunday have lots to be grateful for so do check out other posts.