The past few weeks since my grandmother died have been so hard on me. This is usually my favorite time of year. But this year, I have a heavy heart. I miss her so very much. I have a picture of her and I on my desk. I look at our smiling faces and her hand on my face, and I know I need to be brave. It is what she would want.
And although she is no longer on this earth, she is in my heart because as my cousin Richard said so beautifully, I was her heart. She was so proud of me and the family I have built. So I will be strong for her. I will not let her down. I will not focus on what I have lost, but rather the values of love and family she instilled in me and all of her family. And I know I have so many things to be thankful for this year.
I am thankful for my friends. They have been a tremendous support during this difficult time in my life. I am thankful for my family. We are blessed to have one another, and we have been there for one another in a way I know would make Grandma Mela proud.
I am thankful for my beautiful children. I am thankful for Alex and how smart and diligent he is in school and karate. And I am thankful that he is such a sensitive soul - he is wearing Grandma Mela's cross around his neck and says he likes that it is by his heart so he can always remember her and show her respect. I am thankful for Isabella who is the happiest, most imaginative little girl. I love that she gets so excited when we spend the day together. She always says, Girls' Day! I am thankful for how they both are so excited for their new baby brother to get here. My belly gets countless hugs and kisses everyday. I am thankful I have only 10 weeks of this pregnancy left!! I can't wait to meet my new little baby boy. I am thankful for my husband who carried up many many bins of Christmas decorations and baby clothes from the basement tonight without complaint. I am nesting in a big way lately, and he loves me enough to humor me.
Tonight we all cuddled in Isabella's bed and read our Thanksgiving books. Alex said he is thankful for everything he has. Isabella said she is thankful for her fam-a-wee (family) and Snow White. I am thankful for how much they love one another, their mommy and daddy, their cousins, their grandparents and their aunts and uncles. I am so thankful and proud that I am the Mommy of two kids with such strong family loyalty even at their young ages...
And I owe it all to the example set by our big, crazy, amazing family. Because... "Other things may change us, but we start and end with family." -Anthony Brandt