My family has a tradition at Thanksgiving. After dinner we sit around the table and say one thing that we're thankful for. I didn't want to do that this year. I wasn't ready, but now I am.
I'm thankful for ...
Isaac - His 2 days of life taught me more than my 27 years. I've been living better since he left us. What a sweet child.
CJay - I desperately love CJay. In my weakest moment, he gave me strength. He kept me focused when we had to make the toughest decisions about our child's life. He makes me laugh and laughs at me. He's always kind and sensitive, even when he's exhausted. Not only is he extremely intelligent, but he's also practical, rational, and patient. There's no way I could have made it through 2009 without him.
My parents - Loyal. Thoughtful. Loving. Godly. Are they the perfect? No. But they gave me the skills to wade through this difficult year. They taught me what is most important in life, and when I held Isaac in my arms, I was thankful they had warned me just how much I would love him. I know they miss him too.
Seth (my older brother) - He confided in me about how excited he was to meet Isaac. He was there with us when Isaac died, making us laugh, playing music for Isaac on the iPhone, and keeping us all sane (or insane?). He stepped up and made decisions about the memorial service, the casket, the flowers, and much more. He took pictures of my postpartum butt, and he pointed and laughed when my hospital gown wasn't closed. He lives up to his big brother role quite well.
Devin (my younger bro) - I wrote an essay in college about Devin called "The Gentle Giant." I still think of him that way. He's so tenderhearted. He would have made an exceptional uncle to Isaac. I remember last Christmas when Devin put his mouth close to my pregnant belly and made animal noises for Isaac just so he would kick. I know Isaac would have loved Devin like I do.
CJay's parents - Bill and Connie are two of the most generous and sensitive people I know. CJay and I both wanted to protect them from the pain of losing Isaac. We worried about what it might do to them. They gave so much of their time to Isaac before he was born. Painting and hanging curtains and ironing and washing and assembling. They did and would still do anything we asked. I feel fortunate to have such caring and kind in-laws.
Those who cried with us - It meant so much to know that we had friends who were grieving with us. Thanks for keeping us close in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks for loving Isaac even if you didn't know him.
* In no particular order.