By Megan Wirts
Ahh…November. It’s the time of year when we crave pumpkin pie, turkey and cranberry sauce. When people, around here at least, put on their camouflage and hunter’s orange and sit in the woods waiting for the big one. The weather turns colder, and we might have even already had snow on the ground. Which means it’s the time of year that I bundle up in around 4 layers of clothing, sit underneath a heated blanket, sip hot coffee, have Hallmark Christmas movie marathons all day every day and contemplate moving to a warmer climate. It is also the time of year when people become reflective and remember all the things that they are thankful for.
This past weekend I was reminded of how wonderful and amazing my life is. I had the opportunity to see a dear friend from high school play her music and share her stories of being on the road and living in a big city. Her being in town brought out people that I hadn’t seen in 20 years and it was a fun trip down memory lane. We recounted tales from our youth and laughed about the crazy things we had done. It was a weekend filled with great music, interesting people, laughter and reconnecting with old friends.
Seeing these people from my past got me thinking about the choices that I have made, all the things that have happened to me that were out of my control, and how much it has all changed me. When I was 16 years old I was incredibly naïve, insecure and wanted people to like me so much that I allowed them to use me and treat me badly just so that I could be included. It took me years to realize that I was worthy of true love and friendship. I am so thankful for the family and friends that are part of my life now.
When I met my husband, I was 18 years old. I was a freshman in college, still insecure, not quite as naive and I wasn’t looking for anyone to date. I had just decided that I was going to be an independent woman that didn’t need no man! Then, I got an e-mail from a cute boy that I had a crush on in the 3rd grade and well…I emailed him back. I decided I could be an independent woman and maybe go on a date with this cute boy. That was 18 years ago, which means I have been with my husband for over half of my life and these last 18 years have been the best years so far. Not to say that my childhood was all bad, but some of it was not that great either. I was hurt by people that were supposed to love me the most. I was bullied and made to feel stupid and insignificant by people that said they were my friends. There was a lot of pain that I endured and needed to overcome.
I could have easily gone down a different path in my life. I could have ended up with someone that tried to control me, manipulate me and call me terrible demeaning names because that is what I chose in the past. When I started dating my husband and he treated me with kindness, gentleness and showed me what unconditional love was I thought for sure it was too good to be true. I was terrified, and I was certain he would eventually leave me, but he hasn’t. We have now been married for 15 years, we have two smart and talented children, a warm and comfortable home and we love each other so much.
Our life together hasn’t been perfect. We have experienced our own tragedies and struggles. Big things like losing babies to miscarriage, losing our home to a fire and me being diagnosed with a disabling illness. Sometimes we annoy each other and push each other’s buttons. We have had fights about who got to sleep in last and whose turn it was to get up with a crying baby. We might disagree on what to eat for dinner or how to load a dishwasher, but we always love each other. I am so thankful that I emailed that cute boy back and that we have loved each other ever since.
Next week when we sit around the table on Thanksgiving Day stuffing our faces with pumpkin pie, I will be thinking about how grateful I am for this beautiful, messy, love filled life that I have. I am thankful for so much in my life! I am thankful that I get to witness old friends living out their dreams. I am thankful for the friends that have become my family and that I am “Auntie Megs” to their sweet children. I am thankful that they in turn love my children like they are their own. I am thankful that my teenage daughter tells me that she thinks I am cool and likes to hang out with me still. I am thankful that my son is becoming such a funny, caring and hardworking young man. My life is filled with amazing and wonderful people and I am I so thankful for where I am and who I am today because of all of them.
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