Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

This Thanksgiving will be one to remember.  Here in Utah the colors of orange and red have colored the trees.  The breezy chills have been calm but content.  These holidays have been anything but somber as Fall may feel like for many of you.  Instead I have found a second wind in life.  I have learned to live with an illness and have finally allowed myself to forgive myself for what many call an irreconcilable debt.  I have so much to be grateful for.  Once upon a time I lived life within the shadows of an empty shell.  I lived on the fringes of agony and strife, while barely maintaining day to day.  But no more will I allow the selfish concepts relative to self-defeat consume what little life I may have to live...yet to live.

Today at a stop light my wife played a playlist with musical numbers from my childhood.  The warm memories of my childhood kindled a fire.  I remembered many good friends I have come across.  As a military brat I have been through so many different schools that it is often hard to remember the name of every good person I have met.  I feel bad when people remember me, but I have forgotten a name.  I began thinking of all of the people in my life and I am grateful for all of those people I could share "war stories" with.

For the most part--my life can be broken up into geographical pieces.  I had a piece of Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Salt Lake City, UT; West Valley City, UT; Saint George, UT; Euless, TX; Las Vegas, NV; and Mesa, AZ.  If you live in these areas, chances are we may have been down the same streets.  I am grateful for all of the friends I have made while treading this somewhat infamous journey we call life.  I have had so much fun in my life it is not surprising to me that I have some kind of illness.  Or perhaps it is because of my illness that I had so much "fun!"  Either way life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs that I am grateful for the magical pills they give me that make the pendulum swings a lot more tolerable.  

I am grateful for things that make life tolerable.  Having a strong familial support network has helped me through my recovery process.  My family is well educated about my disease and they know what to do when I am having a symptoms.  Truthfully, some of the symptoms never go away.  It is a matter of minimizing the symptoms to where I am able to manage them.  I see a therapist once a week and a doctor about once a month.  I am grateful for a wonderful treatment team.   My therapist is awesome and she is really supportive and most importantly an open minded intellectual.  She's the type that likes to be the smartest person in the room.  (At least when I am not there!  LOL).  I think the most important part of my treatment team is my wife.  My wife is beyond supportive at times.  Like she says: "Kenneth, you are like my seventh child."  Ane is the most amazing wife and mom.  Let's not forget she had to play Daddy while I was in the hospital.  She had to be strong when inside she must of been feeling weak.  I am grateful to be blessed to have such a strong wife.

My wife is a part of a broader support network.  My immediate family and extended family have all shown their support.  They have compassion upon me and I am truly grateful to be a part of such a wonderful family.  I may not have much materially, but I have an abundantly rich and fulfilling life--knowing that I am a part of a family to which I have been born.  They are so understanding and concerned for my well being that I am truly humbled to the handicraft that binds a family for all the eternities.  Families are Forever.  I am grateful for Jesus Christ and his plan of happiness.  In this life I have felt the tender mercies of the atonement. 
I am truly grateful for the atonement and know that through the plan of salvation all mankind may be saved.

After I got out of the hospital I was able to baptize my son.  This was one of my greatest moments.  I was in the hospital for the most of two years so my father had to baptize my two eldest daughters.  I was grateful to baptize my eldest son.  It was a humbling experience.  I am grateful for such wonderful children.  If you are wondering what spawned such a long blog post--it would have to be my children.  Especially my 2 older children.  Today they gave us their Christmas wish lists.  My two oldest daughters (11 & 9) have begun to realize that Santa doesn't always bring them what they want.  Thanks to an obnoxious cousin I think they understand that my wife and I are the ones bringing home the gifts.  (Besides all of the secret Santas we have each year...Thank you much!!!)  The kids just have their way of finding these things out.  Long story short, when reading their lists I was touched by what they asked for:

  • Tanktops
  • Sport's Bras
  • Long black socks (sporty)
  • Long black and white school socks for school uniform
  • Hard Luck (Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
  • Big (or not) Fluffy Stuffed Panda
  • Journal (Fat one like Pearly Shella's)

Pearly Shella--Needs:
  • 2 Jeans
  • 1 Hoody
  • Pencils
  • Bras
Pearly Shella--Wants:
  • Books
  • Robe (Fluffy)
  • Fluffy Penguin
Our budget is tight.  I feel for my children because they know that we do not have very much money right now and so they know not to ask for anything outlandish.  I am grateful for children that are low maintenance.  They take after their mother.  I had a sigh of relief when I looked at their Christmas lists and realized that we should be able to afford to get them all of their needs and at least 1-2 of their wants.  Don't get me wrong.  I know there are kids out there with less.  But I am just comparing my children to myself.  When I was growing up my Christmas list would be about a book long with the most popular toys and video games.  I am grateful for my two oldest daughters.  I loved their 2013 Christmas lists.  They each picked 4 "needs" and 3 "wants." I am glad when they do things together.

So in conclusion,  I am grateful for all of the wonderful people in my life.  I am grateful for friends (old and new).  I am grateful for the loving and nurturing support of my family and extended family.  I am going to make Thanksgiving 2013 my greatest.

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome, heartfelt post. Ane is the best, I love your wife! I have yet to get my kid's Christmas lists, but I hope they are like your two girl's lists. That is a sign of excellent parenting! Hope you and your family have an awesome Thanksgiving!


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