Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Prefer the Roller Coaster

Giving Thanks

First off- there is a fantastic article about a young woman whose story reminded me very much of Dan. Her name was Jill Costello. She was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Like Dan, she was a non-smoker, a college athlete at Berkley- she was on the crew team. She lost her battle after a brief but courageous fight, and has done so much to raise awareness for lung cancer. Jill lived every minute of her short life, and her friends and family are keeping on in her memory.

And second, since so many days go where I don't stop and take a moment to reflect on all the great things I have been blessed with, these are the things I am thankful order (in no particular order)

  1. The Tastee Diner- I used to go here almost every morning when I wasn't working after Dan died. It was part of my routine. I've recently started going again before work or days when I work from home. The people there are so nice- salt of the earth kind of people. They know my order and always refill my coffee before I have to ask. It's just a comforting place to go, and I never get tired of going there, even if I eat the same thing every time!
  2. Christmas music- ok, even if it's silly that the radio stations started paying Christmas carols on a continuous loop the week before Thanksgiving, how can you NOT like it? Christmas carols always make me happy. They remind me of going to Catholic school as a kid, and singing in the Christmas pageants. And make me look forward to Christmas Day, when my dad pulls out the song sheets and we all still sing together. On a gloomy day, no matter what time of year, Christmas music always does the trick.
  3. My freedom- and I'm thankful I've never been the one who has to risk my life for it, though I appreciate the men and women that selflessly do.
  4. A good pair of comfy socks in the winter and flip flops in the summer.
  5. My parents who just celebrated 40 years of marriage. They may not be the most demonstrative when it comes to showing affection, but they are always there for the people in their lives. Moreso than any other two people I've ever seen in my life.
  6. My family, which includes both mine by blood and those by the strings of my heart- the Waegers, my "cancer" family, my friends from school... too many to name.
  7. My charming and precocious nieces... for the silly little things, like leaving notes on my refrigerator and their contagious laughter.
  8. My health. My health. My health. And health insurance- so many people are dealing with little ailments and big diseases. To be able to get up every day and do the things I want to do physically- I will never take it for granted. And for the times, I've needed it- the access to doctors and insurance that pays for it. Should be a right, and not a privilege.
  9. The mere fact I've made it through one of the worst losses a person could go through.... however I maintained my head and could have hope for the future- I will never get over the loss and the pain it leaves behind- but the fact that now know the capacity of the human heart to love & heal- I wouldn't give that knowledge up.
  10. Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (also my niece's favorite)
  11. Dunkin Donuts coffee
  12. Mani/pedis... best $30 you can spend on yourself and come out feeling like a new girl.
  13. Mashed potatoes
  14. Having someone in my life that loves me and wants the best for me. Who accepts me for who I am today... no matter what. Who supports me and makes me laugh and keeps me happy. And who keeps a level head when I don't.
  15. DVRs- who knew one invention could make life so much easier
  16. Getting paid every two weeks
  17. For my everyday heroes... the ones who spend their days personally or professionally battling cancer. It's the hardest job one can have. For those whose job it is to help those with cancer- the doctors, nurses and non-profit professionals... I don't know how they do it, but their contributions to the quality of other's lives are amazing. For those living with the disease- no one can truly understand the level of mental and physical strength it requires. For the caregivers- to maintain your sanity and stay positive is a true gift.
  18. Going to sleep every night and getting up every morning. I may not like getting older, but I'm lucky I am.
  19. My guardian angel who will always be young, happy and smiling in my memories. Gone but never forgotten and always missed.
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and remember to be thankful for the big AND the small things!