The last year has been an ascent out of hell for me. How can I not be grateful for that?
I have a new grandchild this year. My very first grandson. He is beautiful and has a sweet disposition. My son is deliriously happy with his family. Just a few years ago, I thought he would never marry. And then this lovely young woman from Nebraska came along – I knew from the moment I met her that she was the one. A lovely wedding and two children later, they are moving to Montana. I cannot be totally selfish and wish they would stay here, but I can be partially selfish and miss being a nearby grandmother. I will have to travel to Montana, and that alone is something to be grateful for. I LOVE MT.
My daughters are both well, and their relationship is thawing, albeit very very slowly. My sober daughter is doing something I’m not exactly thrilled about. She has been with her newly released from prison boyfriend non-stop for several weeks now. However, in this obsession, she is gong to a lot of AA meetings. She has gone back to her home-group, where she has realized that she is loved, she loves others and she is part of a larger whole. I can understand that. It’s what makes AA work!
The “normal” functional daughter is a fabulous surrogate mother to sober daughter’s daughters. They are in the custody of my ex- their grandfather. They rely upon my non-alcoholic daughter for much of the day-to-day care of the kids. Being raised by your mother’s twin is probably as good as you can get if you aren’t being raised by your mother. But it is hard on my daughter, she is always running here and there and doing things for others – always. She has come in the last few years to ask me for a lot of help. Mostly at work, but she does rely on me, and I am extremely grateful for that. I worry about this daughter probably more than any of my kids. She is a darling girl, and everyone loves her. Especially me.
Half way through the year, one of my dear readers gifted me with the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University program materials. I tried to self-study it, but decided I really needed the class. I have now finished the class, but I am not what they call a “gazelle,” I am more of a turtle. Part of my problem was my deep terror of money. It took me 6 months just to get a realistic budget for a month – I have a budget for December. But in the intervening 6 months, I had saved some money and stopped using credit cards. That is HUGE. I am so grateful to the person who gave me this gift, and I am grateful for the program. It is making a huge difference in my life. HUGE.
I am grateful for my home-group, which kept me going over the last year. There were days when I felt that my only success in life was staying sober. I hate to admit that during the darkest days of my depression I didn’t really consider this a positive. Going to that group and being with my old friends made me realize that of course it is a positive. It helped me to realize that I am not alone. I am a part of a greater whole, and I AM a part of it. I have a long history with my sober friends, and that is massively important in my life.
Every day now I get to drive to a job that I love. A place I worked for 18 years. That is also a long history, and it is important to me. The director of the hospital introduced me to someone with my name, my job title, and, he added, the resident historian. It is valuable to the hospital, and it is valuable to me. I feel at home there. In this place I feel knowledgeable, competent, and respected. That is a far cry from where I was last year.
The pies are nearly done, and it’s time to go.
I want to say that I am not just thankful, I am grateful to a loving God who has provided so abundantly even through my darkest days. I learned in a very personal way that God IS interested in my life, and that he WILL take action. It never comes in the form I expect, but I have felt his hand in my life over this last year.