Thanksgiving was weird this year, not only because my dad wasn't here, but because we didn't all get together. We had a small gathering with my brother Kevin, his family, my mom and I - It was my first Thanksgiving without our very own parade walking through the house.
I experienced what it must feel like when you're from a small family! We had a great time together; my mom cooked a fabulous turkey and her famous mashed potatoes; Olivia and Lucy ran around playing with all their toys and watching Elmo videos - "I've got two eyes, so I can see..." that tune will never get out of my brain, just like "Dora Dora Dora the explorer" won't!!! - After dinner mom, Sarah and I started the dishes and WOW, there weren't that many this year...it was amazing! After dishes we put up the Christmas tree. The twinsies had a good time putting ornaments up and stepping on the bubble wrap that Nana laid out for them. All in all it was a very quiet (minus Elmo in the background) and relaxed Thanksgiving.
After our long day of festivities, I got in my pj's and watched "It's a Wonderful Life". It has to be one of the best Christmas movies ever. I love the story of George Bailey, his guardian angel Clarence and the strong message that comes across and is said best by Clarence, "Dear George, Remember no man is a failure who has friends..." George Bailey lived most of his life trying to help others, not because of guilt, but because he put others before himself. He always dreamed that he'd make it out of Bedford Falls but before he knew it he had taken over the struggling family business, got married and had four kids. His life was nothing of what he'd imagined it would be, but somehow it was better.
As I sit here and think about it, I cannot help but count my blessings. Yes, its been a rough year, but I have air in my lungs and love in my heart. Life is such a gift and sometimes its hard not to take people/things for granted. Sometimes its hard to remember the affect we have on others, just by being born. What a gift life is!!!
I don't know what, if any, affect I've had on anyone throughout my life, but so many people have had a huge affect on my life. Thus begins my count down to Christmas and my "shout out" to an individual who's life has affected me: Tonight, I'd like to honor my parents. Despite the obvious reasons (i.e. giving me life), I am thankful to my parents for giving me my faith, for setting a good example throughout my life and for always being there for me. You both had a huge part in making me the woman that I am today. Thank you for always being there to talk to, for saving my life (literally) on countless occasions, for loving me as much and as well as you did/do. I couldn't have asked for a better set of parents and I will be eternally grateful for all that you have done for me throughout my life.
SIDE NOTE: I love to sing - not in front of people, but around the house - and I think that it has something to do with my dad. He always sang and like my mom said "after 40 years of marriage, he always surprised me with a new song and he always knew all the words!" He would sing in the shower, while he walked from one room to another, while he did dishes, while he got his coffee, he sang everywhere. So the other day while I was giving Lizzy a bath a memory flashed in my mind. My dad was giving Katie and I a bath, we were very little and he was singing to us - "just what makes that silly ole ram, think he can punch a hole in a dam. Everyone knows a ram can't punch a hole a dame. But he's got high hopes, he's got high hopes, he's got high apple pie in the sky hopes..." and I remember that night he taught us a new one... "bell bottom trousers, coat of navy blue, she loves a sailor and he loves her too. Now he's on a battle ship in his sailor suit, just a big sailor boy but he's just as cute..." I remember being in awe of him and his voice. I miss hearing him sing throughout the house and I will admit that I sing just like my dad. I sing in the shower, from room to room, to my nieces and nephew, and I sing in the car...