To be honest (perhaps too much so?), even though I know I have a multitude of blessings (a roof over my head, food in my belly, a healthy child, a husband who came home to me from combat, family and friends who love me, freedom to worship a God I love thanks to men and women who are still in harms way even as I write this, etc., etc.), I sometimes find it hard to find that thankful place within me on Thanksgiving. It's something I'm loathe to admit... but one of the "rules" at FOV is we're honest... even when what we're saying may not even be something we particularly like about ourselves.
But, I also find the exercise... the challenge if you will... cathartic.
It's a chance to put behind me the swirling chaos that is my life at this time of year and focus on the many things that anchor me among that chaos. And it frees me, if only for a short time, from the storm. It shifts my focus. It lightens my load. It reminds me of how good I really DO have it (despite all of the crap that tries to get in the way of that!).
So, dear readers, today on Thanksgiving, I issue the same challenge to you! To take time to make a list of the things and people that add light and beauty to your life despite anything else that attempts to overwhelm them.
There is no doubt that life after combat can suck at times... but coping... surviving AND thriving, means fighting back. And celebrating Thanksgiving by giving thanks is a kick "grass" way to do that!
And, in the spirit of that challenge, here is a section of my list (I won't make you read the whole thing!):
My Faith - without which my days would simply crumble
My husband - a man who despite the challenges of PTSD, TBI, and the personal costs of combat is still here beside me as my life's love
My child - a bundle of energy and love who keeps me on my toes and fills my days with wonderment
My family - who stand beside and encourage me, without whom my life as I know it would not be possible
My friends - who really have become family... sisters and brothers who may not share blood, but instead share life and laughter and love with me
My mission - the opportunity to give back to the heroes and families that I came to love as part of the military community and whom I now have the privilege and honor to continue serving, something I feel deeply called to, even when it challenges me
Happy Thanksgiving to our heroes and families everywhere! May this post find you together, enjoying peaceful time while creating beautiful family memories. You will be in my thoughts and prayers today (as always). For those who are serving today in harms way, I will stop many times today to think of you and say a special prayer of thanks for you and of protection over you... both for you and for your families at home. May God bless each of you... and may He continue to bless the land we love.
Proud wife of an OIF Veteran
Founder of FamilyOfaVet.com - an organization dedicated to helping heroes and their loved ones survive and thrive after combat with real world info about PTSD, TBI, and more!