The photo above was taken 2 years ago, for a Thanksgiving post to my other blog. It directly followed a downright AWFUL event that involved Oscar being in the equivalent of the dog-hospital ICU for a full week (if you look close you can see where both of his forelegs had been shaved down for IVs). Thankfully, he recovered rather miraculously, and without lasting effects - just in time to count my blessings for the traditional day of Great Thanks... Little did I know that his illness would mark the start of an entire series of quite painful experiences that would stretch out over the following months, and years, dramatically altering my path, and my perspective.
It's been a very, very long road from the photo above, to today, and while I'd never willingly ask for any of the challenges that presented themsleves to me, I could never have guessed how much they would change me, allow me to grow, and even give back, in the most profound ways - nor could I ever appreciate the same things that I do now without their heart-trying lessons.
I like giving thanks, not just on holidays, but every day - I'm just that kind of human. Call me sappy, call me sentimental - a hopeless romantic with an unrealistic, rosy-pink filter on the world... but you know, I'll take it. It beats not realizing how very many beautiful, bright, shiny, warm, adoring, unique things surround every one of us, every single day - even the crappy days, amidst seas of stress and discomfort. Every. Single. Day. There is something to be thankful for, trust me.
TODAY, 730 days since the beginning of that world of hurt for me (and some for Oscar as well), I can safely say - we're out of the deepest, dark woods, and not only can I still find things to be thankful for, I can find crazy tons of them right now - the biggies: family (swoon, hug, LOVE); friends (new & old - I ADORE you); work (epic surprise and delight); dog (where do I possibly begin, my brown-eyed boy...); and yeah, me (always, always learning, but "perfectly imperfect" is fitting me to a T these days...).
On behalf of the big red dog and I, here's wishing all of YOU, dear readers, a most exquisite day of Giving Thanks - may it be the first of many that you appreciate throughout the coming year...