A Gift

      I suspect 2014 will be a year of change.
      It will mark my second year of marriage. It will mark my 34th Birthday. It will see my puppy starting her second year – getting to fill-out to her full adult size. It will see my nephews growing, my family aging, my life – and yours! – going ever onward.
      Unless we die, but that’s another story.
      Still, I reflect now on the gifts in my life and how grateful I am that although there are no packages beneath our tree this year, I am most blessed in so many other ways.
      My husband. He loves me, sincerely and entirely. I never believed love like that existed. Toleration, sure, but the kind of sappy things they write and sing about? Pfft. Yet here I am, nearly through a whole year of married life and I look at that man and my heart beats a little faster.
      My puppy. Venna brings such laughter and joy into our world. Not that we needed more, as we tend to laugh a lot anyway. But her presence in our lives only makes it richer. Muddy puppy paws on the freshly mopped floor. Those big brown eyes staring up at you while her chin rests on your leg, just begging you to ‘let her up’ even though your lap isn’t big enough for her so there’s no ‘up’ to let… Love her.
      My Mom. I only saw her for a few days in July (oh, and a week around the wedding), and it wasn’t enough, but I love her so much. Seeing how happy she is in Vegas with her grandbaby just makes me so… happy. I mean, she seems younger and more vital and happier than almost ever before. I am so glad Evie was able to give her the grandchild she has always wanted.
      My mother-in-law. Linda has been a real blessing to Mark and I this year. We get together with her regularly, monthly at least and sometimes more often. She adores Venna almost as much as we do and she is always willing to pup-sit when we go gaming at Paul’s. I really am blessed to have her in my life.
      My brother-in-law. No, not the jerkface who is presently treating his whole family like absolute garbage (especially his mother who doesn’t deserve it), but the awesome fellow who married my sister. I wish I had gotten a chance to get to know him better – but he is a great father and great husband AND he puts up with my Mom (haha!) so I know he is a wonderful addition to the family. Love you, Mike.
      My job. I hate it, but it affords me the opportunity to stay up all night and (sometimes) write, blog, email friends, mess about… and work from home. Which is a blessing.
      My health. Oh, its not perfect. I am still anemic and have flutters that scare me. I am in a constant state of paranoia about my fatness and my health and my potential for childbearing.
      None of which prevents me from eating the Snickerdoodle Truffles, unfortunately, but anyway… mostly, I have my health. It is tenuous and imperfect, but as I watch friends fight with cancer and organ failure and still raising their children… I am healthy and it is a gift.
      God. I don’t talk much about my faith because frankly, faith gets a bad rap and I don’t like being associated with hate or similar. Yet, I know what I know and though I won’t debate it or argue with anyone about what they should/I should/everyone should believe… God is a gift as well.
      As 2013 comes to a close, I miss my father. I wish he could be here to see that little boy of Evie’s – the one who looked so like him when he was an infant and who is growing up so smart and funny. I wish he could have walked me down the aisle last year, even though the aisle was very short and the ceremony centered around whether or not Mark could hold back the vomit long enough to say “I do”. I love him and the years we did have with him were a blessing also.
      So, this rambling little post is over. I thank you for reading and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Signed, Josie
Note: Image is “Christmas Ribbon 2” by (fangol) from SXC.hu

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