Here in the United States, today is Thanksgiving. It's a day, in history, when two very different cultures came together to feast and share their bounty with each other. It was a day of open hearts, open mindedness, love, and tolerance. In my mind, heart, and spirit; I live this every day. Today, however, is that day each year-- that third Thursday in November, where families, friends, and loved ones gather and share their love, spirit and hope with each other. And don't forget the food!
My list of blessings, the things I am thankful for, is endless. There are very few things in my life that I can't contribute to making me the person I am today. I'm only going to touch on a few of them .. but trust me when I tell you that the list goes on and on.
Samantha Rae Harper
My Daughter, Sami (aka Rayven, Smarmy, Be'be, The Baby, Babe, Hey You, etc.) is the single most amazing thing in my life. She is the reason I'm alive today - physically, emotionally and spiritually. Not only did she change my life on August 26, 1993; but she has saved my life more than once. She is my strength, my laughter, my support, and the light in my heart. I couldn't survive without her in my life. I am the luckiest Mom in the world to have the relationship I have with my daughter. We are able to talk about everything, have fun every time we're together, and when we fight, we fight like adults. We love each other, forgive each other, and are always there for each other. I couldn't be more proud of Sami -- watch the big screen you 're going to see her name there soon. Dragoste' Tu, Be'be
Kathy and Chuck Stout
My Mom and Daddy. The people responsible for bringing me into this world.. feel free to blame them. :D My parents are incredible. They are loving, open minded, and supportive of everything their kids and grandchildren want and need. My parents are always there for us no matter what we need and have shown me what it's really like to have an open mind and open heart. THANK YOU for showing me how to be a truly good person. I love you both!
My OLDER sister... sorry it had to be done. My sister, Dawn is amazing. She's smart, funny, loving, supportive and a wonderful mother. She's an excellent sister and a fantastic daughter. She's the worlds best niece, and an incredible Aunt. We didn't get along so well when we were younger, that was my fault -- I was difficult and damn near impossible to love (some things never change). I'm SO thankful that we have the relationship we have now. Even through we don't talk as often as we probably should, and we don't see each other much -- we are not just sisters; we are friends as well. She opens her house (and her kitchen) every year for Sami and I to come over on the holidays (and just about any other time we feel the need to visit) and never complains about our obnoxiousness. Then again, she's can get pretty rowdy herself. Dawn -- thank you for putting up with your bratty little sister. Love you Bunches!
Haley and Tyler Tarase
Haley and Tyler -- my niece and nephew. WOW .. what can I say about them (that won't be held against me -- hahaha). They are great kids. Haley is an incredibly accomplished dancer as well as a cheerleader and a dance instructor. Tyler is an amazing father to his little boy and a great brother, son, and nephew. I love these two so much, and I always look forward to the time I get to spend with them. BIG things are in store for these two.
The worlds most amazing Aunt. Aunt Debbie is one of the most incredible people I know. She's loving (my family has a history of being pretty spectacular people), supportive, and caring. She's a nurse and changes lives on a daily basis. She's always there for me, my sister, and the kids -- as well as my Mom and Dad whenever we need anything. She opens her heart and her home for us to visit- even if it's not as often as I'd like. The world wouldn't be what it is without her in it. SHE is a game changer, every day. Thank you, Aunt Debbie for your bravery, love, kindness and just being you.
My Uncle Pat. I don't see him often, but I think about him all the time. He's an Inspiration to me, and to many other people. He's the one who taught me that it's alright to poke fun at yourself; especially when you're different from the "normals". He's shown me that even though you may have physical limitations, that doesn't mean you have limitations in life. Hands down..he's the reason I'm able to be so upbeat about things at times. THANK YOU for helping me understand that different is better than blending in.
Chester Edward Kiluk Jr.
Aside from Sami, Chester is my best friend in the whole world. He knows things about me that very few people know, and most likely knows me better than anyone on the planet (Sami excluded). I can talk to him about anything, anytime for as long as I need to. He will be open, honest, and tell me what I need to hear - whether I like it or not. I miss him terribly but I know I'll see him soon. So Thankful to have this incredible, smart, loving man in my life. What did I do to deserve it? <3 You Chester.
Fatboy, Carley and Buttons (Resting Peacefully)
My cats and the reason I'm a crazy cat lady. The best psychologists on the planet, living diaries (I'm SO glad they can't talk to anyone but me) and the best purrboxes ever. <3 <3
My endless list of Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins that I don't get to see often. I love you all and I miss you so much. I think a Family Reunion is in order ASAP! <3
I have amazing friends. Bonnie, Geremy, Dave, J.D., Terry, Becky, Shari, Kate, Kathy, Michael, Mary, Christa .. the list goes on and on. I'm here for them as much as they are for me....and I love each and every of them so very much. <3 <3 THANK YOU for being in my life and allowing me to be in yours.
My Doctor and Medical Staff
What can I say -- they keep me alive, and I don't make it easy on them. They are the best, the brightest, and the most talented group of people in the Universe. I'm so lucky and so VERY thankful that I have them to keep me on track.
Medical Technology and Research
Medical advances and research of living things (including myself) is the sole reason I'm alive. Many of the treatments, surgeries, and medications I've had and still go through are experimental and if it wasn't for the chance to participate in Medical Research -- I wouldn't be here. Keep up the good fight.
My Boss and my EY Family
I have a great boss and an amazing family at my job. I love my job, the people I work with, and the amazing values the Firm stands for. If it wasn't for the ability to be flexible, I probably wouldn't be working. I can't thank them enough for their love and support.
MY second family. The loving and amazing men and women that allow me to haunt the halls of Bloodview with them each year. I've never been in company of such incredibly talented people - from the costumes, to the makeup straight to the acting -- it's a place like no other. They have taught me so much and I'm so thankful that they've accepted me into their hearts and family. I am Legion for we are many. I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!
"I'm alive, and well". And some days that's all I can ask for. I'm awake, out of bed, and able to experience life. I COULD NOT BE MORE THANKFUL.
My fellow Warriors, the kids in the cancer wards, the people at dialysis, my counsellees. The reason I live the life I do, trying to help others and Inspire them to live a happier life. Remember that YOU are the reason. And you know it.
My Gift and Opportunity to Inspire
I'm so very thankful and blessed to be able to be a successful public speaker, a informal counselor, and an Inspiration to others. I'm so lucky to be able to share my experiences and thoughts with other people in hopes that they realize they are not alone and that there is HELP out there for them.
You, my readers, the ones that read my seemingly endless blogs and let me do what I do best - write. I love each of you and am so thankful you take the time out of your day to read my stuff. <3