“Struggle is its own reward,” is a line from one of Ven’s songs and I’m taking it to heart. I’ve been pushed, pulled, and smacked by life on all fronts. I’ve broken my body, looked at my bank account with disdain, lost my mind, lost my drive, lost friends, and lost lovers.

But, today I woke up. I opened my eyes and saw Archer laying next to me with his golden locks all strewn about his face. I looked across the hall to see Evan curled up in a ball with Pandora and I was shown that the there is good. I thought about Lily and how good it made me feel that when I let her skip school she wanted to go to Grandma’s house to be around love and family.

I’m thankful for the shoulders I’ve cried on this year and I’m thankful for the tears of my friends that have graced mine. I’m thankful for the hugs. I’m thankful for the inappropriate laughter, because sometimes when we’ve been beaten down it’s better to laugh at the situation and worry about picking ourselves up later.

And this is what we will all do as long we are here. We’ll be destroyed and we’ll rebuild. We’ll soar in parts of our lives only to have them come crashing down … and we will feel every intense moment and we need hang on to the way that feels an know that is what makes us human and that is what we need to give thanks for.

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