And These Thy Gifts

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time for my annual reflection on what I’m thankful for. I believe an attitude of gratitude is the best way to go through life, and while I often take people and things for granted just like everyone else, I think it’s important to take time to appreciate what God has given me.

I’m thankful, first and foremost, for family. I don’t know what I would have done these past two years without my son Ben and his husband Clint, both of whom have told me they want to be known by their given names in this blog. I also appreciate the love and support of my other three children, all of whom are in their 30s and have become my favorite people. My oldest daughter and her husband have all their shit together and she’s a phenomenal mom and an inspiration to me; youngest daughter has made a career out of being an Army veteran and is now helping other vets who need durable medical equipment; even my older son is feeling the effects of being over 30 and he’s trying earnestly to grow up, and now he’s anticipating the birth of my seventh grandchild.

I’m thankful for a warm and welcoming roof over my head. I’ve come so close to homelessness that I can never take housing for granted. Being homeless and out in the elements is my biggest fear in life, other than losing one or more of my kids, like my poor sister who has lost two of her own only 10 months apart. I can’t imagine…I thought the death of my baby Melissa 34 years ago was the worst thing that could happen to a person, but I’ve since learned that there are things that are MUCH worse. I pray for Louise to find comfort and peace in the face of tragedy.

I’m thankful for friends. I’m blessed with so many! While I know most of them online, there are some I went to school or worked with, and if I needed something they’d fall all over each other to help me. Having friends means I’ve done something right in my life, which helps with my shaky self-esteem. I figure I can’t be THAT screwed up if I have people in my life who value me.

I’m thankful for the simple things: a cup of hot cocoa, a good TV show, warm blankets, a hearty meal. I enjoy how fallen leaves crunch underfoot and the way smoke from different fireplaces fills the crisp autumn air with wonderful aromas. I like early Christmas lights and pumpkin pie-scented wax cubes in my Scentsy warmer. And I love it when the family dogs all gather around me on the sofa and give me licks and cuddles; their affection is unconditional and they know I adore them in return.

I’m especially thankful for stability. As I’ve noted in previous blog posts, I continue to enjoy full remission from bipolar symptoms, and most days I feel like I don’t even have the disorder. What a blessing it is to not have racing thoughts or wild mood swings! Given the tempestuous life I lived even before I was diagnosed, I have to say that this is the steadiest I’ve ever been. And all it took was a little adjustment in one medication to put things right. I see Dr. Goodenough tomorrow and have nothing but good things to report. I’m also thankful for him; he knows his bipolar stuff REALLY well and I’ve benefited from his wisdom in countless ways.

That’s my short list of people and things for which I’m truly grateful. In the words of a favorite prayer:

Bless us O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen.



Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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