my gratitude to you.

I love to write. I write a lot. Pretty much constantly I’d say. 

It isn’t a substitute for talking really. I just feel as though my written words have an authenticity and heart that my spoken words can’t convey. 

This isn’t my first blog either. Actually, I have a private blog with entries I am incredibly proud of. It is so personal, I never share it. It is also from a time that has long since past and because of everything I have experienced in the past 2 years, I have become much more of a person who lives in the moment, than one that rues for the past or longs for the future. I know now that I am only guaranteed this very time, so everything I do must be with a passion for life and a gratitude that I have made it this far.

And so this gets me to my story.

There are many gifts we receive as we walk our life’s journey. One of the most special was a pocket rock, given to me by a close friend named Shannon.  She saw that I had lost my way. I was wallowing, feeling that the roadblocks around me were insurmountable. 

That happens to me sometimes. It is easy for me to sink when I think of all of the stress I endured to find the peace I experience now. I am hard on myself for circumstances I often can’t control. Somehow wishing for things to be different creates a sad longing. I remind myself, I can only do my best. If I knew better, I would do better.

So I made it. The triumph is that I survived and am able to share my story. I have plenty of battle scars and I am proud of them all.

More about this special angel.

Shannon came into my life at a time when girlfriends were few. I was fairly new to the city, enjoying my job and preoccupied with concern as to how well my daughter was adjusting to her new school, friends and environment. There just wasn’t time to seek out and cultivate girlfriends. My priorities were elsewhere.

She walked into our office and I remember being instantly drawn to her strawberry blond hair – “Is she Irish like me?” – I wondered. I noticed that when I spoke with her, she couldn’t look me in the eye. It made me nervous because I felt she was afraid of something I didn’t understand. I had never experienced that before.

At my insistence, she was hired. It was exciting to have another female in the testosterone dominated granite factory. As we learned about each other, we had many differences. But we also have many similarities. Those similarities are core to our essence in that we give, we come from an authentic and truthful place and we love our gift of creativity. We also view our daughters as our greatest gift to this world and take our raising of them very seriously. I can count on her and I know, she knows, she can count on me. Shannon is very bright and forward thinking. I love that because it inspires me to do better.

She is a super mom to Kami in that she is a professional photographer and has taken beautiful photos of her that we cherish. Kami thinks she is pretty cool and let me tell you, that’s awesome coming from a teenager. Thank you Shannon for everything you have done for my little girl.

I missed her birthday (because the gosh darn gift wasn’t here yet) and never got to spend Christmas with her as I had hoped. She has been reaching out to me and I have been busy, occupied, swirling in my life tornado – I did not realize that this would hurt her deeply. It feels very bad to hurt the people you love. Shannon made me recognize that my world was closing in on itself and I was isolating; I do so much better emotionally when I am socially active. Not to mention that I miss her.

So Shannon, I want you to know I am grateful for your honesty. For showing me that I am lovable and forgivable. And most of all for sticking around me when I do these things. I have been known to push people away as a relationship deepens because of my personal childhood trust issues. This isn’t going to happen here.

So remember when I said she couldn’t look straight at me? Well – she does now. It seems she harbors the same hurt as I do for many of her own personal reasons. I love the clarity and beauty that radiates from those eyes and I feel honored she shares them with me. It is such a gift.

Gratitude. I have plenty.

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