Yesterday was Thanksgiving and in that spirit I wanted to share my thanks. I am thankful to live in a country that my grandfathers and my father fought for our freedoms. I love our country and the freedoms that it affords. I saw an article about a young girl who was given 50 lashes because her knee length skirt was too risqué. Now I may not like how young ladies dress, but they have that right – and their parents have the right to stop it. And I am thankful for all those that fought for those rights and continue to do so today.
I am thankful for my family, those that are here with me to celebrate and those that are not. I miss my grandparents, my father and my brother. I am saddened that I did not have enough time to get to know them better, but thankful for the time I had with them. My father is the epitome of a man to me – family focused, strong, honest, hard working and tough loving. My brother was the most intelligent and witty person I have or will ever know, and one of the most courageous. He was threatened by his university that they would take away his scholarship if he did not stop being so vocal about gay rights. In true Teepe (my maiden name) fashion he told them what they could do with that threat. He was an advocate and leader in the gay community and I am very proud of him. My grandmother was and always will be my idol. She was divorced twice and raised her family with strength, humor, intelligence and wit. She was a true lady, owned her own business, traveled the world and had a shoe collection to die for!
I am thankful for my family with me today. My son, the cause of all grey hair and many more smiles. Although he is not the All-American, Opey kind of kid (more like Pumpkin Pie with lots of whipped cream, Eddy Haskell type) he is my pride and joy. I have raised him to be a person that thinks for himself and stands up for what he believes in. The beauty in that is when he has faith, he will defend it to the end; he can look at situations with his own mind and knows life isn’t always fair that it is dishonest to get a ribbon just for showing up. He has had to deal with too many adult situations at such a young age, but there is a strong man inside of him that will do wondrous things when he is older. The challenge of an independent teen, well, sometimes he is an idiot and stubborn as a team of mules. He’s a teenager, but beyond that, he can make some really, really poor decisions. He also does not take anything for face value. If you tell him not to touch a flame because it is hot, he is not one of those kids that says, “ok” and that it that. Oh no, not my son, he has to reach his hand in the fire, grab a log, get third degree burns then look at his hand and say, “oh, maybe I won’t do that again”. Chances are, he will. But, he is my son, faults and all, and I love him. He is charming, athletic and holds great power that he has yet to tap. I enjoy watching him grow and discover truths and his own abilities. I have taught him the tools to be a honorable, independent individual and it is his choice to utilize those tools. As hard as it is to see him struggle, I know eventually he will succeed.
My fiancé, the one true love of my life. I met him a week after I graduated high school, fell in love and planned to get married. But then life happened, I started college in another state, his life took a different twist back home and there we were. Over twenty years later we reconnected and from the very first moment it was as though twenty years were a blink of the eye. He is my best friend, my lover, my confidant, my business partner, my partner in life. I cannot imagine a day without his love, his trust, his humor, his smile and his support. He is the calm, rational side of our partnership, while I am the energetic over the top part. He sees everything with a positive outlook, everyone with good in their heart and every situation as surmountable. He grounds me, he thinks of the things I do not, he sees the other side that I cannot. I am truly blessed as I know what it means to be loved.
My best friend. Although we live in two different states, no one could be closer. We are the Wonder Twins that can read each others minds, call when the other needs it the most just because we had a feeling and send that smart-alecky text when the other needs it the most. She is the most intelligent woman I have ever met and the absolute best mother one could imagine. She is the essence of grace, style, intelligence, class – she is a mother, a friend, a colleague all wrapped up in an amazing bow. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful friend that has been through such highs and lows with me.
I am also thankful that I have a home for my family, food to feed hungry teenage boys, ability to provide a safe place for them to live, learn and love. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to follow my life’s calling in helping others. I am grateful and amazed how lucky I am to own my business and perform the work I love and be able to share it with my family.
I am thankful for those I work with and meet through my work. They teach me so much! I am grateful to meet such diverse people and be a part in their world if only for a moment. I meet the most amazing people and love the opportunity to do so every day!
There are many things we all wish we could have or have more of, but when I sit here today and look around at the sun shining, my home, my family – I am thankful that I am here today no matter how little or how much I have. I am also thankful that all those I have mentioned have taught me a very valuable lesson – to recognize and be thankful for my blessings every day, not just once a year. They have given me peace, the ability to be grateful, love and support to continue to follow my dreams. Thank you all.