[These Ancient Eyes] Giving Thanks

Thursday, November 22, 2012

It’s my personal tradition for Thanksgiving to make a blog post about all the things I’m thankful for this year. 🙂 It only seems appropriate that I post it on Thanksgiving itself this year. Every year it seems like I have more and more to be thankful for!

First and foremost, I am thankful for my beautiful, wonderful fiancee, Lona. I love her more than I think I will ever be able to express, though I fully plan to spend the rest of our life together trying. A wolf and a fluffy white cat might be an odd couple, but we just…fit. I love you, babe.

I’m thankful for my best friend, Nyx Goldstone. I know we’ve had rough spots recently, Nyxie, but when it comes down to it, I can’t really imagine a day we didn’t talk or hang out. I love sharing my nature knowledge and Disney geekery with you over our occasional sushi dinners, and I look forward to many years to come. Loves you!

I’m thankful for Lona’s mom, Claudia Suzanne, for all the amazing things she’s done for me since I moved to California. She taught me what it really means to be a writer, and the definition of hard work. She’s taught me about perseverance and patience, and also to recognize when it’s sometimes okay to NOT have any. Watching her has taught me how hard it is to say goodbye to someone you thought would always be there for you – and that such loss doesn’t mean that your personal life is over. For showing me that it isn’t always the biggest or toughest bears in the forest that live the longest – but the wisest and most adaptable, I thank you, mom. Thank you more than you will ever know.

I’m thankful for Lona’s grandparents, Claudia’s parents, for taking me in and treating me as their granddaughter even before I was engaged to their biological one. I barely remember my own grandparents, and having both of you has meant so very much to me. I love you, Grandma and Grandpa. I look forward to a bunch more holidays together!

I’m thankful for Lona’s dad, Tom Stein, who – while no longer with us in the physical – is most certainly still around in spirit. Thanks, dad, for lending us all your strength and stubbornness when we need it – even if it’s to argue with another part of ourselves. And thank you for still making the house feel safe, even as we head toward three years without you here with us. We’ll always love you.

I’m thankful for my mom and dad, Eileen and Lynn Ward, for far too many things to list here, but I’ll try. I’m thankful to my mom for opening my eyes to the natural world and encouraging my learning path that would one day result in an A.S. in Anthropology, with more to come. I’m thankful to my dad for teaching me about patience, and how to crack pecans in my hand at the right time of year, how to safely climb in and out of concrete-sided bayous, and how to fish. I’m sorry that my patience wasn’t exactly what it is now when we used to go – I wouldn’t wander off near as much now, and I hope we get a chance to go fishing together in the future!

I’m thankful for my mom, even though she and I have had a few heated misunderstandings recently. I’m sure they’ve lead to both of us having our eyes and ears a little more open when it comes to dealing with the other. I’m thankful that I still have both my mom and my dad – so many of my friends and loved ones aren’t so lucky anymore – and I treasure every day we have on Earth together in physical form. I hope there’re quite a few of them left. I love you, mom and dad. So very, very much. And I miss you today – some year soon we’ll have Thanksgiving together again.

I’m thankful for my brother-by-love, Kata Skyfox. I know you’ve had a really rough year, brudder, but I want you to know that I’m always here if you need to talk. You made me a raid tank that could take down Deathwing, and helped me get over my fear of multi-player gaming in WoW and beyond, and I will forever be grateful to you for that, even if I don’t play as much or as regularly anymore. I’m more thankful than I think you know that I can call you “brother.” I love you.

I’m thankful for my incredible and awesome friends online and off.

Paleo, you and Jay mean so very much to me. My dire wolf sister, you are one of my most treasured friends and you always will be. I didn’t know years ago when I was still discovering myself and found your Dire Wolf Is essay amid the search that we would one day meet in person – I never would’ve imagined it. I know you’ve been through a lot, but you’ve come out stronger and I feel so previleged to be one of those you let walk beside you on your journey. Thank you for letting me be a part of YOUR pack.

Enya, you and I have been through a lot together, and it’s really only made our friendship stronger. I never would’ve imagined when we met on your Watership Down message board all those years ago that you’d one day be so very important to me and in my life, yet here we are, and I am so happy that we found each other again. Here’s to another ten years!

Ravenari, your posts and beautiful art and photographs have brightened a lot of difficult days for me, and I am more thankful for that than I can express. I love your totemic work and am jealous of your stamina when it comes to doing art. Some day I hope to be able to get a print of the Dire Wolf as Totem and Red Tailed Hawk as Totem, to name just a couple. Keep doing what you’re doing – you are amazing.

I’m thankful for Lupa – your writings, artwork, blogs and books are truly inspired. Every time I see that you’ve commented on something I’ve done I do a mental happy dance. You are fantastic. Keep creating – you have an inspiration unlike any other

I’m thankful for my friend RedFeather – we’ve known each other so very long now and through so many personal discoveries. I think of you every time I see a hawk or a falcon – or a Utahraptor. I proudly keep the painted hawk you sent me in a place of honor in my room, and Sammy’s feather is rolled up safe in a rabbit skin. You are a most noble bird, and your hawk sister sees you as you are in your soul – a kindred hawk spirit. A part of me flies with you both, and with Asazi.

I’m thankful that my long-time friend Reka (though she has gone and goes by other names over the years) has finally gotten out of Indiana and into a much better situation, though I know the road has been rocky and more than difficult. You have such an incredible and strong soul – I am proud and blessed to know you. I only wish I could’ve done more to help you when you needed it.

Janus, I’m incredibly thankful to know you, peachball. Your unique perspective keeps the world fresh, and I only wish I had more time to talk to you!

So many incredible and wonderful friends – I can’t even keep going on one person at a time, or this blog will be pages and pages long. I am thankful for each and every one of you. I am blessed to have you all in my life, and proud to call you all my friends and my pack. Whether we’ve met in person or only talked online, it doesn’t matter – I love you all.

I’m thankful for a rotted wisdom tooth. No, hear me out! I’m thankful that the tooth went bad, because the pain was so horrible that I couldn’t ignore it, and it pushed me on November 5th to actually go to the emergency room. I know, this doesn’t sound like something to be thankful for, but I am!  If I hadn’t gone to the emergency room, I wouldn’t be on MSI (medical insurance for people without medical insurance, basically), and I wouldn’t have my (first ever) appointment with a dentist tomorrow. Yes, I’m terrified – but I’m going to come out of it minus a rotted tooth and probably with a good idea of where the rest of my mouth stands.

On top of that, MSI is good for a year – my next step after the dentist is to get a full physical at my new primary care physician, and get all of my chronic problems on medical record – and hopefully get treated for them! The list is too long to go into here, but let’s just say that I’m hoping to be a lot healthier in a year – and it’s all thanks to the wisdom tooth giving me a painful kick in the…well, teeth.

I’m thankful for the changes in my life, good and bad – change is necessary! I’m thankful for my cat, even though he can be annoying – he’s also adorable. And sweet, even if he is loud, obsessed with food, and occasionally way too talk-y.

I’m thankful for money in the bank, the love of friends and family and pets, the encouraging words and friendship both from without and within…I’m thankful that I’m going to win NaNoWriMo for the second time this year (about 5k words to go as of this moment!), and I’m thankful to Nyx for introducing me to the month of literary abandon in the first place! I’m thankful for job interviews and paid blog posts, I’m thankful for creativity, music, energy, and passion. I’m thankful for the willpower to break addictions, and the strength to survive the cravings. I’m thankful for breathing, running, laughing… I’m thankful for LIFE.

Now, let’s eat that turkey. And yeah – I’m thankful for him, too.

[image credits: thisreidwrites, antonellomusina]