I wrote this post about a week ago but wanted to wait to post it on the actual day this all happened 5 years ago. Today I will be spending the actual day just being with my babies and trying to make the most of the day like I am sure my parents would have wanted.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner it makes you truly realize how thankful you are. I know I have a lot to be thankful for this year (and really every year). I know there are people in this world who are struggling. Struggling like I was five short years ago. So to all those who have lost family members or are in the hospital know you are in my heart.

Five years ago I went into Thanksgiving sad and desperate for answers. My Mom was laying in a hospital bed and my Dad, brother, sister and I all sat around her bed trying to spend Thanksgiving with her and not break down. I put my computer on her lap and we looked at pictures and videos of Ace, and my brothers children. I just wanted to make it positive in some way. Branden had to work and my cousins took Ace so I didn’t have to run after him and I could focus on my Mom. I just remember feeling heartbroken that entire day. After my Dad and I left my Mom we went to a restaurant and ate. We both were really sad and just couldn’t really think about anything but my Mom. We went to his house and sat on the back patio next to each other and I finally asked him “Do you think she is going to make it?” He just stared straight ahead and said no. I knew if my Dad had finally reached the point where he didn’t think she was going to make it than it was real. I had had that feeling from the start but for some reason with out him thinking it she might have had a chance. He was always my source of hope in the darkest times.

I just broke down right there. The hardest pill to swallow was that my son wouldn’t get to know this woman who he idolized already. He had a connection with her like no one else. I didn’t want to have that become a reality. He and I tried to watch old Friends Thanks giving episodes, some of our favorites but we just couldn’t handle it. I got home that night when Branden got off work. He had picked Ace up from my cousins while I stayed with my Dad so when the three of us were finally together we walked around our neighborhood and looked at Christmas lights. I just wanted to erase that day. I wanted to look at my son’s smiling face and be happy.

We got news a few days later that there was nothing else the doctors could do for my Mom. My sister thought they knew sooner (and I think she is right) but wanted to let us have that holiday. I will never forget that Thanksgiving. It was one of the hardest days of my life. But it also made me realize so much about myself and life.

It made me realize that life is incredibly precious and finite. We have only one trip around and we have to prioritize who and what is important. People who matter to you and you matter to them are a blessing. I am incredibly thankful for those people in my life who have been there for me through the hardest and best times of my life. I know I am very fortunate to be able to have these people in my life and don’t take that for granted. I am thankful for my children. Without their smiles, silly laughs and goofy personalities I don’t know what I would do with myself. And of course my husband. The guy who, when I told him how heartbroken I was over my parents not having the life I had with my grandparents, said we would do that for our children. It was awful but we had to just do it for them. I realized that was so true. I just have to make the best of it for them because they will remember how fun and incredible things are because we made it that way not my parents (or grandparents). It doesn’t matter who does it as long as they are enjoying life.

So even though I have lost so much I have also gained so much as well since then. I have two beautiful girls who my parents would have loved. Ace has grown into such a sweet, goofy little boy, who definitely takes after my grandpa, who he was named after. I have incredible friends who I know will always be there for me and family I love so much. So I choose to be Thankful and grateful for this life even when hard days happen.

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