My sweet, hard-of hearing MIL, who does her best to make everyone happy while complaining every step of the way about her ailments (sigh). She's wonderful, though, and helps fill the empty space in my heart left by my mother who died when I was 21. I miss my Mom, but am so thankful to have MIL who treats me like her favorite daughter.
My sister's undying love, no matter how neglectful I am of her emotional needs. Apparently, she's hurt because I did not call or come by to see her while in the hospital recently for complete knee replacement surgery or the weeks afterwards while she recuperated (duh, of course she's hurt! Shame on me!) I went over there today and spent a little time with her to try to make amends. I was wrong, selfish, and hurtful because of my neglect. I'm thankful for the reminders I get whenever I let my own wants/needs/desires take precedence over those of the family I love.
I'm thankful for my own dear, sweet, smart DH who keeps an iron grip on our finances and our wheels between the lines on the road to our dreams. He's truly a miracle-worker with the budget and I could not do it without him.
I'm thankful for my friend, Jeffrey, and all of his buddies in his Military Police unit, who are serving the citizens of Iraq at the Bagdad International Airport. These men and women, and all those in the US Armed Forces, are serving to protect our freedoms and ultimately, working to ensure freedom for all people on earth who cannot do it alone. I'm sure every single one would rather be at home, safe from missiles and road-side bombs, in the arms of their families - eating turkey and hanging Christmas tree ornaments - but instead choose to risk their lives so we can live free of terror.
And I'm thankful for all the wonderful folks on this board who offer their support and encouragement to each other, whether as a written response or compassionate thoughts from those who lurk in silence and share in the community of this board.
Happy Holiday Season to all, and I hope your family gatherings are filled with peace, love and joy. And if they aren't (this isn't Utopia, we realize), then I hope everyone emerges with a renewed sense of compassion, understanding, and purpose that helps to make future gatherings wonderful.