Today got off to a rocky start. Someone I thought was long-ago banished from my life sent me a friend request on Facebook. Most people would shrug it off. No big deal.
It was a big deal to me.
I won’t go into details. They’re unimportant. Suffice it to say this is someone who has a very serious, court-mandated reason never to speak to me again, and he chose to cross that line. It was like three years of peace and quiet were suddenly interrupted with the sound of metallic fingernails dragging across a rusty heart.
My rusty heart – the heart that supposedly mended a long time ago. I was reminded of all the old fears and anxieties, and I immediately went back to something someone told me during that awful time three years ago: “That which does not kill me can only make me stronger.”
I used to chant that to myself and think how freakishly, Atlas-strong I was going to be when all was said and done. I had heard that saying preached who knows how many times, and I kept trying to believe it.
So here I am three years later, and I’m supposed to be writing a blog with the theme “Be blessed. Be loved. Be thankful.” Well, guess what? I have plenty of days when I don’t feel particularly happy, and today is one of those days.
However, I know I have so many reasons to have a perma-smile. Even though I might not always feel particularly blessed or thankful, it is through the power and grace of my family and friends that I never have a day when I don’t feel loved. So today’s blog is about reminding myself of all the blessings and thankfulness-enducing things in my life.
1. Sarah was bouncing around the house being Sarah this morning. For those who know her, that is enough said. In my moment of angst, she reminded me that perfect miracles can spring from less-than-perfect moments in our lives.
2. Aubrey is so precious. I don’t know a particularly eloquent or unique way to say it. She is such a hard-headed, loving little joy, and I live for her unsolicited kisses, sassiness and dimple-laden smiles.
3. Randall. What can I say about my husband that I haven’t already said? He is my protector, my love and my heart’s foundation. I can’t imagine how hollow my life would be without him.
4. Mom and Dad, I never imagined when I was a teenager that I would ever understand your decisions or actually agree with them, but now that I have kids of my own, the light of comprehension has been activated. You were so right so many times, and I made it hard for you with my rolling eyes and I-know-more-than-you attitude. I’m so sorry I ever gave you a moment’s trouble. I love you, and I’m so blessed to have you as my parents. My life would’ve been very different if not for your guidance and love. You are not only my parents – you are my friends. Happy 39th anniversary, you two. Thanks for loving each other and me for all these years.
5. Melissa Clevenger, I don’t know how I would breathe without you most days. Just knowing you’re there on the other end of a text message makes life’s little frowns easier to handle.
6. Rachel and Misty, I am so glad our paths crossed and that our kids are so close. I hope they always stay that way, but even if they don’t for some reason, I expect you two to always be in my life. I talk to each of you daily and am so grateful that you are there when I need you to support me or to tell me I’m full of it. I adore you and will be glad to tell you when you’re full of it, too!
7. St. Francis Medical Center, thank you for keeping me on staff when the merger happened with North Monroe. You could’ve so easily gotten rid of me once the transition was complete, but you graciously made a place for me and have treated me – and so many others – like we were already part of the family tree long before we were planted here.
8. I have the best neighbors in the history of neighbors. It is not open for dispute.
9. My inlaws and extended family – what can I say about you without getting teary-eyed? You welcomed me and Sarah with open arms from day one. We celebrate “Mixon Day” on July 13 because that’s when Randall’s adoption of Sarah was finalized, but our Mixon Day and the celebration of our new family began long before there was a marriage license or adoption papers.
10. My sister-in-law Courtney is one of the coolest chicks in the Universe. My only problem with her is that she doesn’t live closer so we can go shopping and meet for lunch whenever the mood strikes! She has been such a blessing for my brother, which automatically means she is a blessing for me as well.
11. Which brings me to my baby brother Jake. He was my living doll when he was little, but he grew into his own person who wouldn’t let me tell him what to do anymore. And I’m thankful for that. He has his own mind and is a strongwilled person who, despite a few setbacks along the way, is plugging away at this thing called Life. He has a home, a beautiful wife, a church family that surrounds him with love, and more creativity than 99.9% of the people in this world. I admire so many things about him and am so thankful I have been blessed to be part of his life.
12. I have a new car, and even though gas prices are going up, I still love it and am excited to have joined the ranks of the soul-free, Earth destroyers who use too much gas. I love Mother Earth, but I seriously love my new ride, too!
13. Toonie Bugs Child Development Center is awesome. If your kids aren’t going there, you need to fix that immediately. If I could sit down and draw out specs for my ideal child care situation, Toonie Bugs would be higher on the list than being a stay-at-home mom. Seriously.
I’ll end it there. For those of you who are superstitious, sorry. I ended on number 13. I guess that just goes to show that once you list out your blessings and stop to think about them, you realize that no amount of bad luck or ill-intentioned idiots can ruin your day unless you allow that to happen.
I will not give anyone that kind of power over my life. I’m done. Back on track. I am blessed. I am loved. I am thankful.
So are you.