I really didn't expect to find myself here again....Five years after we lost Kim, on Christmas Day.
What have I learned? I've been thinking about the blessings in our lives - more than I can count. And sometimes, when I find myself slipping, I need to stop and start counting them. One by one. 1. My children. How precious they are. And resilient. So caring, I cannot begin to relate how they take care of me, putting me before their own needs. Especially Autumn, who has become such a little Kim, it is sometimes painful. And Antonio, who is so caring. His boxing instructor, a young man of about 17, Elijah, told me the other day that when he is having a bad day, he thinks to himself 'I need to handle myself more like Antonio does'...made my heart swell. Cody, who is so much like me it is terrifying in some ways, became engaged on Christmas Eve. Because that is when I proposed to his mother back in 1993. And he wants to get married when he is 28. Just like we did. 2. Kim. How could I have such wonderful, caring, respectful and grateful children without her? They THANK me when we leave the grocery store. I ask 'What for?' 'For buying us food' they answer!!! And I am thankful for the years we had together. And the memories. And the holidays we shared. How special she made me feel. 3. I am thankful for the people in my life that God has blessed me with. Those who help get the kids to school. And after school activities. Those who call or text them from time to time to see how they are and how their day went. Those who include us for birthdays and holidays, making us feel welcome and a part of something special. Connected. One, today, told Autumn they'd help teach her to drive and said she should call him Uncle. It all may seem small to those who include us, but, when we get home...the kids, you should see/hear them - they feel they are a part of family here, thanks to those who include us!! Means so much, it is, perhaps, the biggest blessing. I know they need strong women in their lives. Not to replace their Mom, because that is not possible. But to fill in some of the void. The hole in our hearts. 4. My job. Barnes & Noble may not be doing well, Amazon is amazing, but it is still a great place to work. And the team that I work with is perhaps the finest in my 28 year career. I am blessed.
Each day has it's challenges. I wish I could have done some things differently, but am at peace, because I know that I cannot go back and change anything. But, I know I was a strain on those who helped me most and I am sorry for that.
There are so many blessings...I don't have time to write about all of them. And, as always, the kids need me right now. It is harder to find time to write. But they are good, they had a good day. We brought Kim up quite a bit, as we continued traditions like making ciopinno (seafood soup) on Christmas Eve. And making pizzels and biscotti. And making homemade raviolis on Christmas Day for lunch before heading to Angie's. All good. I will try to find the time later to transfer Christmas photos from my phone to the PC so I can share them with you.