.... and there are six of them.
Well, I have way more than six blessings .... but the main ones, the biggest ones .... are the six people who are now home with me.
My .... our .... six children.
Only two of them live at home now .... and one of those is leaving in January. He's going to boot camp. For the Marines.
But I'm not going to think about that right now.
That tends to make me cry.
Where was I?
Oh, yes .... six blessings.
And so very thankful that the sixth one made it in today.
They are all home now.
All here safe and sound.
All is as it should be.
Well, not as it should be.
It's a far cry from how it should be.
It's been a while since that thought ran through my head ...... "This is not how it's supposed to be. This is not supposed to be my .... our .... life."
That thought used to make me cry, too. Quite a lot.
It still can sometimes.
Today has been one of those times.
Thanksgiving is very, very hard.
I thought it would be different this year.
I thought it would be better.
I thought I would be .... better.
It seems I am not.
Thanksgiving starts some internal clock inside of my head .... inside of my heart, really. You know the one. You probably have one, too.
The one that starts the countdown to the day he died.
I have no idea why it's Thanksgiving. Other than it's the day that kicks off this whole holiday season .... and he died in the middle of the season .... one week before Christmas.
Strangely enough, we did not spend that last Thanksgiving together as a family. Well, not so strangely.
I had just returned from a mission trip to Africa the Sunday before. I was exhausted. And the girls were traveling home and didn't have much time off. So I told Jim that he should take the three boys and go spend Thanksgiving with his parents in Oklahoma. The girls and I would relax at home ..... and his parents would get the chance to just have him (without me ..... for the first time since we'd married) .... and just three of the kids.
It was to be the first .... and last such holiday they would have together.
And it begins the countdown ..... the "heretofore" mentioned .... "death march" .... in my heart.
No matter how I try to approach it.
No matter how I think it will be different.
It still counts down.
But .... as it counts down this year, I'm going to try to focus on what I have to be thankful for now .... today.
Which brings me back to six.
Six blessings that he left me.
Six amazing, unique individuals.
Six hearts that beat with part of him, and part of me.
Six .... which really isn't six at all, but is multiplied infinitely by how much each one continues to bless me .... and others.
I am blessed.
Even when I hurt.
And sometimes .... especially when I hurt.