Not too long ago, my sister was challenged with coming up with the Top Ten Highlights of her life. This got me to thinking about mine. And, as I pondered what they might be, I realized that I wanted to make a distinction between Highlights and what I am most Thankful for. To me, the former are events while the later are what has contributed most significantly to my life to date; to making me ME.
So, this seems like a great thing to Blog about! My Top Ten Thankfuls!
I Am Thankful For My Parents
My gratitude and thankfulness to my parents, all four of my parents, is the very first thing I thought of. Without them, I'd be nowhere; or, rather, not where I am now; which is a pretty darn good place to be.
I've said it before and I'll proclaim it to the end; although divorce can be rough on some kids, especially those whose parents are not sensitive to the impact it has on their children, my parents handled it right. My Father and mom made a pact to never talk bad about the other one in front of us or to manipulate our emotions. And, they never did. I never felt as though I had to chose between my Father and my mom; who to love, who to want to be the most like, who to obey, who to want to be with. And, believe me, as with all divorces, my Father and my mom had plenty of things to be irritated with each other about so it's not as though they went skipping hand in hand through the process. They just KNEW it would be best for my sister and I to be courteous and respectful to one another and to work together to raise us; which both left no bones about the fact we couldn't play one off the other and taught me that taking the high road is usually the best thing to do. Because of their example, I have difficulty comprehending why it has to be any other way for other families in like circumstances.
Both of them remarried soon after their divorce; first my mom, then my Father. I'm grateful that they did so as certainly, had we had several years to forge routines and patterns with them as single parents, it might have been more trying to meld together new families. As it was, it seemed, well, seamless to me. Yes, I was a small child, but I was also extremely observant and sensitive to what was going on around me. And, as far as I'm concerned, I hit the big time jackpot with stepparents. Another thing to be grateful to my Father and mom about; they chose their new partners wisely. Over time (and it didn't take too long), I basically stopped thinking about the fact my parents were divorced and I had a stepfather and a stepmother. The four of them were my parents. That's it.
As I grew up and experienced a bit of life, I began to comprehend how thankful I was that I had four intelligent, loving, hardworking and decent people raising me. And, how wonderful it was that they each brought something unique and special to "the party". Now that I am almost fifty and have been around the block a time or two, I can look back and see at which point one of them, maybe more than one, was always there during the difficult times, trying times, sad times, joyful times, happy times of my life. I can also confidently state that they each became my FRIEND. What luck!
I've lost one of my dear parents now and as such, have thought a bit on the next stages in the Circle of Life. It should go without saying that there is a reason why we don't know what's going to happen before it does; we couldn't bear it. However, whatever happens, when it happens, I'll be equipped to get through it.
I've got my parents to thank for this as well.