Thursday, November 27, 2008

I have thanks to give.

Last year I posted my obligitory 'what am I thankful for' post on Thanksgiving, and I think I'll do that again this year, starting with some updates on last year's post.  

The first thing I mentioned in last year's post was the time that I had been able to spend with my Gramma in the several months previous.  Just a couple of weeks later, my Gramma passed away, making that time that I was able to have with her that much more special.  I'm having a hard time believing that it's already been almost a year . . . some days I almost forget that she's gone. This year, I am thankful that my Gramma lived a long life, filled with family and love.  I am thankful that I have so many wonderful experiences to remember her by. 


In last year's post, I mentioned my teachers that have been so great.  This year, I can add to that quite a bit.  As I mentioned, not long after Thanksgiving last year, Gramma passed away . . . but a week before that, my little cousin was in a horrible accident (something I've written about here often).  If it weren't for my teachers and councelors at school, I'd have had a much harder time getting through it.  First and foremost was my English teacher at the time, Mr. Lockwood.  I already thought he was a great teacher, but after Nicole's accident, he went above and beyond to make sure I made it through my most difficult time  . . . not only that I survived it emotionally, but also that I survived it without giving up all I had worked for at school.  He was always there with an encouraging word, a prayer, or homework/school advice. To this day, I consider him to be one of my closest allies at IVCC.  He has assisted me by giving me advice on several papers that weren't even for his class . . . he played a major part in the scholarships I recieved . . . and he is a big part of the reason I haven't had a complete nervous break down at school when things are getting to be too much.  

And he's just one of the great people I've been blessed with at school.  There are several others there that have helped to change my life, and to encourage me to become a better person . . . my Anthropology teacher from spring semester . . . my music teacher from last fall . . . my English II teacher, who still emails me with books she thinks I'd like, or scholarships she thinks I am perfect for . . . my co-workers in the financial aid office . . . my Geology teacher who has the ability to make me enjoy learning about a subject that is supremely boring for me (Sorry Mr. Phillips!) He's also my College Democrats Advisor, so I've gotten to have a lot of fun with him this semester.  The list doesn't end there, either . . . but if I named everyone, I'd be here all night! 

I'm thankful for a small group of friends I met on one of my forums whom I have become incredibly close with.  They've been there with me through everything for more than two years now, supporting me when I need it, and telling me I'm being an idiot, when I need it. ;) I'm honestly not sure what I'd do if I didn't have them there for me.  

I'm thankful that I got the chance to get so involved in politics this year.  I learned so much, experienced so many great things, and met some truly wonderful people who I am now proud to call my friends.  I'm also thankful that our efforts paid off.  


I'm thankful for the friends I've been blessed with from all around the world.  Once, I never thought you could have a true friend that you'd never met in real life before, but I can't tell you how many good people I've 'met' on the internet, who I grew to truly care about.  And I have to say, it's endless entertainment discussing language differences with my favorite Aussie, Ian! I'm gonna know all the lingo if I go there someday! :P 

I'm always thankful for Joe and Sky, my two best friends.  I couldn't begin to explain how much those two have changed my life.  Joe in particular.  Enduring Nicole's accident would have been difficult without my teachers and friends who supported me . . . but it would have been downright impossible without him.  I can still remember that day . . . the third day after Nicole's accident . . . when that awful nurse implied that we'd be meeting with the Dr. the next day to discuss pulling the plug . . . every one of us had the feeling of losing all hope . . . we were so empty . . . so dead inside . . . we couldn't stop sobbing for hours on end.  That's not an exaggeration.  When the priest came into the waiting room, I totally lost it, and had to leave the room.  I called Joe, who was incredibly busy with finals at the time . . . and he took the time to listen to me.  He didn't talk much . . . he didn't have to . . . and probably couldn't have if he tried . . . because I was just sitting there on the floor at the end of a long corridor of the Neurological Critical Care Unit, with my head on my knees, sobbing uncontrollably into the phone.  He didn't have to talk.  The fact that he was there, on the other end of that phone, was all I needed to make it through that dreadful night.  I know Joe knows how much he means to me and how thankful I am for all he's done for me . . . but I don't think it's possible for him to ever know how thankful I am that he was there for me that night . . . just listening to me sob.  He is an amazing friend, and I couldn't ask for anything better.  



And that brings me to the thing I am the most thankful for this year.  Nicole.  

I wish I knew the name of that nurse that implied that the meeting we were having with the Dr. the next day was to discuss pulling the plug.  I wish I could tell her the pain that she inflicted on so many of us that were already feeling like they couldn't hurt anymore.  

That nurse was wrong, and she had no business saying the things she did.  

We didn't discuss pulling the plug.  We didn't listen to anyone who put a limit on how far they felt Nicole could come . . . and neither did Nicole.  Nicole didn't listen when they said she might not live.  She didn't listen when they said she might never come out of her coma.  She didn't listen when they said she'd be a vegetable for the rest of her life.  She didn't listen when they said she would live out her days in an institution.  

I'm so very thankful that Nicole didn't listen to any of those people.  I'm so very thankful that Nicole came home on July 3rd, after 7 months in hospitals and rehab centers.  July 3rd.  Her Independence Day.  

I think it's safe to say that I have more to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day than any Thanksgiving I've ever had.  What a wonderful time to be alive.  


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