In 2004 and 2006, I had the unfortunate experience of my parents deaths. They were both ill, and I know it was a blessing, but it still hurts. I never thought and the ages of 33 and 35 that I would have to say good-bye to my parents. It was, and at times, still is unfathomable that I have to live the rest of my life without them, and that my sons will know them only through pictures and stories. In a lot of ways, I feel like lately I am coming out of a fog that I have lived in for years. I was starting to feel like my friends would say, "Oh no, here we go again! What else could possibly happen to her?" It is now that I realize how blessed I am, and I would like to say thank you to a few people who have helped me through these past few years.
First and foremost, I need to thank my husband, Andy. I know we promised for better or worse, but sometimes I think, wow, never thought that worse could be quite so bad! Andy, you are my best friend, and I don't know how I would have gotten through the past few years without you by my side. You were there for me not only physically and emotionally, but spiritually. You were the main reason why I was able to be with my parents at the end. You are also why my parents knew it was OK to leave me-because I had found my soulmate who would take care of me and love me no matter what. I am so blessed to have found love in you.
Next, I need to thank my sister Mary. I know you think that you don't help me as much as I you. You need to know that you lift me up in a way that is unimaginable. You are not only my sister, but my friend. You are also a shining example to me as a woman of faith, as well as a wife and mother. If someone is looking for an example of a strong woman, all they need to do is look at you. Thank you for being my sister, and I love you!
I also need to think of the women who stand by me through thick and thin-Lisa, Sydney and Michelle. It was such a blessing to have you brought back into my life, Lisa. We have lived through the best and worst times of our lives-our teenage years as well as our adult lives as we face the challenges of motherhood. Syd and Michelle, I feel so fortunate to have you two in my life. You met me when I was going through some of the roughest times in my life, and you never for a minute made me feel like it was a burden to let me talk about what was going on. I love that the four of us have bonded. It is so wonderful to have women in my life that that support me, as well as feel the same way about the important things in life. I love the three of you so much, and consider you a great blessing.
Finally, I want to say something about my husband's aunt, Peg. Peg you are such a great caring friend. As I said to you last night on the phone, no one will take the place of my Mom, but thank you for being a sounding board when I need it most. Thank you also for sharing your stories of being a Nana. It reminds me so much of when Peter was little and he spent time with my parents. Peter had a very special relationship with his Nonni, and whether he remembers it or not, it has contributed to the loving boy he is today.
I am so grateful to all of the people who have touched my life including those not mentioned here. I just wanted to name a few and say I am grateful you are in my life and I love you.