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Ten Things of Thankful: 2017

Time just keeps on passing, and here we are again at the end of December. I find myself momentarily pausing, glancing backward over my shoulder to review the past twelve months, while simultaneously leaning forward, anxious to propel myself forward on both new and familiar paths in the upcoming year. 

Much has happened in 2017--life and death, hellos and goodbyes, laughter and tears. Opposites add dimension to life, letting us appreciate the good times and assuring us that the bad times will not last.

One thing that can endure, though, through all of the ups and downs, is thankfulness. Each week, I join with other bloggers to express thanks for things we are grateful for in our lives. As this is the last week of 2017, for this Ten Things of Thankful post, I look back not only on the past week, but on the past year. 

The year started off with me attending a party in honor of my grandma's 100th birthday. I'm thankful (1) for her influence in my life. My memories of her sharp, inquisitive mind and can-do attitude stand in contrast to her declining mental state and weakening body. When the Alzheimer's allowed her more frequent moments of clarity, she mentioned to me how she often forgot things. I said, "That must be frustrating," and she replied, "Well, it used to be, but then I realized it wouldn't get better, so I just accepted it." She's a great example to me of the importance of working hard, but being at peace during trials.  

Photo: My Grandma, wearing a pink birthday crown and pink "Birthday Girl" banner, gets ready to blow out three numerical candles (indicating 100). The candles are on a white sheet cake.


In less than a week, she will turn 101. I'm thankful (2) for my mom, who personally cared for Grandma for as long as possible, and who is still actively involved in the details of her care at the nursing center. I'm thankful (3), too, for my dad, who both compliments and complements my mom.

Photo: My mom in a red floral blouse, me in a blue and white striped shirt, and my Dad in a grey t-shirt and orange suspenders

Some people live long lives here on earth; others leave early. In 2016, my uncle died, and this year, my cousin (his daughter) passed. Though I don't get together with cousins nearly often enough, I enjoy their company, and will miss Rachel. I'm thankful (4) for my cousins, uncles, and aunts.

Photo: My sister and I stand between two of our cousins at our grandma's birthday party

My family lives all over the United States, so even getting together with siblings isn't a frequent occurrence. I'm thankful (5) for my brother and sister. I'm also thankful (6) for their families.

Photo: My nephew, standing next to a stormtrooper at Disneyland

John and I moved to Utah this year, which puts us closer to his parents and also his sister and her family. I'm thankful (7) for my in-laws and for how easy it is now to see them. 

Moving has its pros and cons, and moving away from our daughter and her family was definitely a negative. I'm thankful (8) for all four of my grandchildren, and for planes and video chatting which allow me to stay in touch. (I'm also thankful (8-1/2) for all the friends I have made in the various places we've lived over the years.)

Photo: A collage of my grandchildren, left to right, from oldest to youngest. The granddaughters are writing in their workbooks, the grandsons are smiling into the camera (or, in the case of the youngest, chewing on my fingers!)

There would be no grandchildren without children, and I'm thankful (9) for my kids and their spouses/significant others. It's so rewarding to watch children grow up to become capable adults. Almost all of them were able to come for Christmas, and I loved having them around, and missed those that couldn't make it. 

Photo: Four of our children, one daughter-in-law, one girlfriend, John's parents, and John and I pose in front of the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve
I'm thankful (10) for John. Our family has grown over the years, but by next summer, it looks like John and I will be empty-nesters. I'm simultaneously looking forward to that, and also wondering what retired-mommy-life looks like for me. I appreciate John's support as I figure it out. 

Photo: John and I, dressed in warm coats, stand in a tunnel of Christmas lights
Goodbye, 2017, and hello, 2018.

I invite you to join with other bloggers at the Ten Things of Thankful blog. What were you thankful for in 2017? 






Comments

  1. Happy New Year: here's to more adventures and even more blessings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Nancy. Happy New Year to you, too.

      Delete
  2. Thankful for your inspirational posts. Your thankfulness is always inspiring to me. ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love that photo of you two and John in the tunnel of lights!
    I can almost hear that gasp as your fingers are used as a teething ring. :-)
    What a year you have had. Lots of good things happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fortunately, the little chomper didn't have teeth at the time. :-)

      Delete
  4. Happy New Year! Your empty nest will be bustling with you doing what you want and need to do, i promise.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've had a talk with my niece recently. I explained to her that, now that she has a few teeth, she can no longer chew on my fingers.

    :-)

    Love all the family photos in this post and love the tunnel of lights.

    Happy 2018 and Happy 101 to your grandmother. I wish I still had mine, but they both taught me so much, out of the women they both were, just as you say of your grandmother.

    ReplyDelete

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