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My Thanksgiving List

I woke up this morning, after a long day of cooking and baking yesterday, with the thought “I’m a stay-at-home mom with a child in heaven”.  When asked what I do, I used to tell people, “I’m a stay-at-home mom whose job grew up and moved out”.  This morning was the first time I’ve thought that same phrase with the different ending.  I have a child in heaven.  I “lost” a child 2 years ago.  He died.  His body is lying in a grave a few miles from my home.  He’s gone from this earth forever.  (I’m still working on believing this fact.)

It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the USA, and I’m crying already.  Just a little.  Not an “ugly cry”.  I had several days like that last week.  The holidays seem to bring that on now.  It wasn’t like that before he died.  In fact, quite the opposite.  I’ve always loved the holidays and was even a bit giddy in the days leading up to Thanksgiving Day.  This giddiness continued, even increased, as Christmas grew nearer.  I love Christmas.  I still love Christmas.  I can love, be thankful, be sad and cry all at the same time.

So how to be thankful today?  Just say it!  I have so many things to be thankful for.  And here are a few things I’m thankful for:

Always my first to be thankful for is Jesus – my savior, my redeemer, my healer, my peace, my wholeness, my righteousness, the reason I can come “boldly into the throne room to receive mercy and grace to help in time of need”.  Without Jesus there would be no reason to live.

My husband – the greatest gift God has given me.  He is my rock, especially since our son passed away.  He has literally ministered life to me when I didn’t want to live.  He has held me when I thought I would fall apart.  He loves me so beautifully.  I’m so very thankful for him – Daniel Thomas.

Our oldest daughter – my introduction into this amazing journey called motherhood.  What a wonderful person she is.  We “grew up” together, learning how to be mother and daughter, teacher and student, friends forever. I’m so very thankful for her – Miss Kimberly Kathleen.

Our oldest son – my introduction to boyhood.  Wow!  There is nothing so fun as raising boys, unless it is raising girls.  He looked like a masculine version of our oldest when he was born, but man was he different.  Boys and girls are born boys and girls – they don’t evolve into it by their environment.  (Just a little soap-box stuff.)  My oldest son is such a mix of my husband and I.  He is thoughtful and laid-back like his dad; fiery and verbal like his mom!  I love him to the moon and back – Mr. Joseph Daniel.

Our middle son – my precious baby in heaven.  What a guy he was.  One of the most beautiful children I’ve ever seen, with a smile that could make my heart smile no matter how irritated I was with something he was doing.  I’m so thankful God gave him to us for the 25 years we had him – Mr. Israel Thomas.

Our fourth child, third boy and youngest son.  He was the shyest baby I’d ever seen and had the privilege to call my son.  He was a brainiac with two older brothers who were not!  It presented many challenges when homeschooling them.  He has grown into a wonderful young man and I’m thankful for him – Mr. Timothy Joel.

Our fifth and youngest child, the other side of my “bookends” (2 girls on either side of 3 boys), our youngest daughter.  She is a precious blessing and we love her immensely.  She is also an even mix of my husband and I, like her oldest brother – very thoughtful and laid-back like her dad, and fiery and blunt like her mama – though not quite as chatty as her oldest brother.  I am so blessed to call her my daughter and friend – Miss Elizabeth GraceAnne.

My parents and parents-in-law.  They are all such wonderful people.  I love them and am thankful for them – Dorsey Dean, Bonnie Jo, Robert Dean and Judith Ann.

My family’s doctor for the past 23 years – a wonderful Christian man, a fellow homeschooler, the wisest, kindest, most sincere professional I’ve ever known or encountered.  I love him and he loves our family.

My counselor for the past year and a half or so – also a wonderful Christian man who has taught me so much while travelling this road of grieving the loss of a child.  I don’t think I would be as peaceful as I am if it weren’t for him…..and God, of course……..and my husband!  And, so many more!

My pastor, who I know is faithful to pray for us and his entire congregation.  He is a very caring, loving, wise and articulate man.  I’m so thankful God has put us in his little congregation.

I’m so very thankful for all the friends and family who have stood by, prayed for, loved and cared for our family over the past 2 very difficult years.  We are forever grateful.

There are so many blessings to be thankful for today and everyday; too many to mention, but I am so very thankful.

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18





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