Yes, it’s cliché to write a post called Thankful at Thanksgiving time. I know. Don’t care. 😁
I am so full of gratitude as we head into this holiday season. It’s been a crazy upside-down year for me and some of my family members. At the start of the year I would never have guessed that it would end the way it has, but I couldn’t be more thankful.
My daughter, Jordanne (23), and I had a difficult relationship while she was growing up. She was strong-willed and therefore hard to raise. And my personality was probably very difficult for her to understand. We joke that I’m a “don’t rock the boat” kind of person while she’s a “toss a hand grenade in it and see what happens” kind of person. Both types have their merits and it’s likely the best course of action is somewhere in the middle, most of the time. But that combo made it hard on both mother and daughter through the formative years.
Someone once told me that she had the same kind of relationship with her daughter and they ended up being best friends when her daughter was in her 20s. I remember hearing that, while in the thick of it with 11 year old Jordanne, and hoping—but mostly not wanting to get my hopes up as things were so hard. I couldn’t picture it actually coming to fruition.
We struggled to see eye to eye. Life was a series of battles and frustrations and though we loved each other, we really had a hard time liking each other. But by the time she hit 19-years-old things were starting to get better.
When she was 21, we’d just started working together in real estate and I was thoroughly enjoying being around her. It was surprising and wonderful. She’s a brilliant, witty woman and I found she was truly one of my favorite people to spend time with. But just as we were really starting to build a strong relationship, she ended up suddenly moving to Tennessee for work and to be closer to her boyfriend’s family. I was so sad. Things had finally started to be so good and then she was gone. I was happy for her, knowing she was excited about moving south and all that entailed. But inside I was just really grieving for a relationship that I’d always hoped to have and wasn’t sure would happen long distance.
Well, fast forward almost two years—past a move to California and a really rough year for her (and by extension, me, flying to California twice to help with all that was going wrong) and now she’s moved home. She’s rebuilding her life and truly thriving. Some days I’m laughing so hard with her about whatever silly Gilmore Girls-esque situation has made us crack up and I feel like I’ll burst because I’m so glad to have her home and have this second chance at really knowing my daughter and being here for her when she needs me. (Although I will admit that our Gilmore Girls banter drives Bill absolutely crazy. I feel like it’s a small price to pay to have wife and daughter laughing with each other on a regular basis. I’m sure he’ll adjust. Luke did.)
I don’t think I’ve been this thankful about anything in a very long time. So it felt appropriate to get back to blogging with a post on being thankful. I do still plan to continue my series on mental health. I’ve just spent so much time immersed in real life “research” these past several months that I’ve had very little time to actually write about it. But it’s a holiday weekend and I’ve got a little free time so I’m glad I had a chance to write a bit of what was on my heart.
Next up in the Mental Health Series, I’ll be interviewing a friend who was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder as a teenager. Most everyone knows someone who is Bi-Polar, even if they don’t realize it. And it’s a disorder that affects everyone around the person who has it. So it’s a good idea to understand what it’s all about.
Before I get to that though, I might update a post I did once on expectations around holidays. It always struck a chord with people and I think it’s even more needed with all the Intsta-Pintre-Book highlights that start showing up in our feeds right about now.
Thanks for reading!
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