I have to admit I have spent a lot of time this last few months thinking about all the things I do not have. I don't have my best friend anymore. My children don't have the father or home life and consequently the mother they deserve. I don't have much confidence in my future. I don't have a lot of happiness these days even though I am really trying.
I was going to write this on Thanksgiving but spending the first real holiday in my new situation just kicked me flat and I wasn't good for much of anything on that day much less counting my blessings. I have to admit, it is hard to think about what is great in my life when I am so constantly reminded of my own personal hell by the most innocuous things. It's hard to get away from it. The boys have been with their dad for the last two days and I have missed them horribly. I am one of those moms who doesn't sleep well away from their kids even when I know they are just fine. Having them gone is not a break, it is more like a horrible indication of what the rest of their childhood is going to be. Here, there, here, there. I'm already tired of it and they ask all the time "why can't dad just come here?" and I'm running out of answers. But the last few days has given me a little time to think and to remind myself that although things legitimately feel awful right now, I do have much to be grateful for. So here goes:
I am grateful that my children are healthy and that they love me and frequently tell me so.
I am grateful that I have been entrusted with their precious souls in my keeping. It is no small honor to be their mother and to get to love and raise them and I always know this even when I am ready to lock them in the backyard.
I am grateful I can have the knowledge that I did my best for them even though it stinks to have to watch and treat the fallout from all this.
I am grateful for the gospel and for the moments of peace when I know I am being carried along in my worst moments.
I am grateful for very kind ward members who genuinely want to help in any way they can.
I am grateful that we still have a home at the moment and that I do not yet have to worry about how to finance our life.
I am grateful for a good head on my shoulders. I know I can trust my instincts.
I am grateful for the fact that ultimately I know I am worth far more than he has made me feel.
I am grateful for kind, wonderful friends and family who are doing their utmost to help fill this huge gap in our lives and genuinely wish they could take my pain away.
I am grateful for all the kind messages from friends and from those of you who have come out of the woodwork to share your kind thoughts. Even when I don't get to responding to every one, I feel your prayers and good wishes and I am touched.
I am grateful that I am still standing (no small feat at the moment).
I am grateful that I have a loyal heart. That hasn't been taken from me in all of this.
I am grateful for those around me who listen to the promptings of the Spirit and seem to come to my rescue right when I need it.
I am grateful for the wisdom and experience of those who have already walked this rough road and who show me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel even though I can't see it yet.
I am grateful to know that I am watched out for both in heaven and here on earth and that I am promised peace and a better soul if I endure to the end.
I am grateful that I know I can do hard things, whether by choice or by compulsion.
I am grateful for the good times I did have in my marriage. The memories of them hurt at the moment, but I hope they won't always.
I am grateful for freedom in this country.
I am grateful for chance I have to spew my random stream of consciousness out into blog world and actually make friends from it (if I have made enemies, please don't introduce yourself).
I'm grateful for the capacity to hope for better things, whatever they may be, even when they seem so far away.
I'm grateful that there is always something to be grateful for.