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Why am I thankful?

This is a question that I have been really struggling with
these past few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.  It has really been a very difficult summer
and fall with Rachel’s relapse in June and her passing 39 days ago. I bumped
into someone at the park the other day whose son played baseball with Evan in
the spring.  The first thing she asked
was, “How was your summer?” The first response that came to mind was, “well it
really fucking sucked!”  I instead opted
for the more PC response “it was okay” but it feels good to be able to drop an
F-Bomb in print :-)

Obviously she was not aware of Rachel’s passing nor was she
even aware that she was in remission from Leukemia when she last saw her – she actually
said that she thought Rachel had arthritis? 
Looking back it simply amazes me the difference a few months can
make.  Back in May when Evan was in little
league Rachel was acting and feeling like a normal mom/wife doing all sorts of
normal things like managing the household, the kids school schedules and
activities, her crafts, interviewing painters for our next home renovation
project (painting the house)… To most people outside of the blog we appeared
very ordinary.

I am not going to
rehash the events of the summer that changed our lives forever but instead
thought it would be therapeutic to make a list of all of the reasons I still
have to be thankful this year.  I really
felt like blowing off Thanksgiving because I just did not feel like celebrating
or being around people. To be honest I found out recently that being left alone
is far scarier than being around people who care about you.  I am not ready for alone time yet. I need the
kids, my friends and family to keep my crazy brain occupied or else I will go
nuts… plus it would not be fair to keep the kids from celebrating with their family
and cousins – they will have a blast and they should!  Thanksgiving used to be a really special
holiday for our family and it will be again someday.

Here goes on the list… When you really think about it all of
us regardless of our circumstances have TONS to be thankful for. Most of us do
not have to look very hard to find those less fortunate than us who still find
ways to be positive and the lead happy lives. 
Rachel was able to find positives in everything – she was not always
this way, but, as life threw her more challenges she became more and more
positive and focused on helping others versus worrying about herself.  She is/was amazing!

Why am I thankful?

I am thankful for having experienced  true love in my lifetime and for the 15 years
that Rachel and I were together - she was the love of my life and soul mate and
I will have that forever.

I am thankful for my beautiful children Evan and Kate who
remind me of their mommy every single day.

I am thankful for my family and extended family who have
supported us at every turn and continue to do so now.

I am thankful for my friends who seem to always be there
when I need them and not letting me pay for golf or lunches anymore :-)

I am thankful for twelve months of remission that gave us a
relatively normal life after a very difficult six months of treatment.

I am thankful for all of the wonderful doctors and nurses
that did their best to give Rachel good care.

I am thankful that I work for a great company and have a
great friends at work that have supported me so much these past two years.

I am thankful the kids are at an awesome school with great teachers,
friends and support network.

I am thankful that Rachel and I had time to prepare for her
death and that we left nothing unsaid.

I am thankful for still being able to enjoy the things I love
to do (playing volleyball, golf, watching Earthquakes soccer and the SF Giants
win another World Series).

I am thankful my kids continue to see Rachel in their dreams
(as do I).

I am thankful for watching the leaves blow around on a cool,
clear fall day.

I am thankful for everything I have that reminds me of
Rachel (pictures, video, her stuff, her writing…).

I am thankful for being able to spend a lot of time with my
kids right now while we adjust to new life.

I am thankful for all of the tears I shed thinking of Rachel
reminding me of how lucky I was to have her in my life.

I am thankful for the future and more great times with my
kids, family and friends.

I am thankful for this blog and for having an outlet to
express myself at this time.

I am thankful that I have at least one reader left (thanks
Linda) :-)

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Remember
to take nothing for granted and always look for the positives this holiday

Always 100%

Love, Rob

PS - If you did not notice I added a new profile picture for Rachel I have so many great ones I will try to share them as I post.