Only Planet

One Child, One Year, One Planet. A family of three traveling around the world...

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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Giving Thanks

It’s been difficult to blog lately.  Not only have I been overtaken with a storm of emotions throughout our move to the Netherlands and back, but also I’ve been following the adage, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  Suffice it to say, lots of bad was going down, and not much good. 

Despite the shit storm we endured, I’d have to say in many ways I learned I was the richest woman in the word.  For if a person counts their wealth in friends, I realized that when it comes to the people I have in my life, I’m richer than The Donald.

Since November holds Thanksgiving—how cool is it that we have a holiday to just be grateful, and pig out while doing so—I thought it was appropriate to give a shout out to the many people and things for which I am grateful.

Here they are in no particular order:

Thanks to Sam and Dan for taking care of our second child for nine weeks.  Not only did Sam quickly offer to take Wasabi, but he and Dan drove down to Portland and enfolded Wasabi into their loving home. 

Thanks to Anne, Mike and the gang at Three Dogs who continually assured me that Wasabi was doing okay and rolled with all the changes we kept throwing their way.

Thanks to April, who not only picked Dylan and I up with our six enormous bags, but fed us gourmet meals and sheltered us until we could get into our home.

Thanks to Bob and Susan.  They not only took amazing care of our home, but they made it possible for Dylan and I to move back right away.  They did not have to do this, and yet they still did.  We are forever in their debt.

Thanks to Kerry, who was my proxy through all of this.  She dealt with the bills, the mail and taking care of things I couldn’t do while overseas.  She also made me feel missed and loved. 

Thanks to Bernetta who talked me off the roof during the worst night of our entire time in Eindhoven.  Not only did she give me excellent advice, she stayed on the phone with me for hours as I muddled my way through the latest crises.

Thanks to Ronda and Declan, who thought of me when they needed some help and offered me a job—I start next week!

Thanks to Rhonda in D.C. who picked me and Dylan up at the airport, fed us and let us stay with her for a whirlwind 22 hours before we had to return to the Netherlands.

Thanks to Lauren, Elena and the team at St. Mary’s who made a space for Dylan and were wonderful during this transition with their excellent communication. 

Thanks to the many girlfriends who I emailed and called, all offering loving, and kind support.  You know who you are, but not everyone else does: Lili, Athena, Luann, Suzanne, Starla, Rachael, Paula, Linda, Kara, Nancy, Moira, Laura, Lora, Amy, Amanda, Daksha, Ruby, Susi, Ro, Heidi W., Wendy Z., Anita, Jenny and Shannon.

Thanks to Marianne, Redd, Mychal, and Steve who welcomed me back at Milos with hugs, iced tea and benedict before I could even slide into my seat at the counter.

Thanks to my friends on Facebook who still “liked” me, even when I whined about being in Paris. 

Thanks to our folks, who endured a very bare, sullen and cold European existence with us.

Thanks to Kathy and Megan who befriended us while in Eindhoven and helped make things much easier. 

I must say it wasn’t people who made things difficult for us while overseas.  Well, maybe there are a couple who stand out as a pain in the ass, but it was more the system and circumstances.  But there were Nick, Lydia, Remy, and Walter, all Dutch, and all who made things a little nicer.

I need to wrap this up, but I must say that I’m most thankful for two others in my life.  They are Dylan and Andy. 

While there were horrid moments together that I think Dylan and I would rather block from our memories, I am thankful that she is motivated to learn and wants a lot out of a school which is a “problem” many parents would gladly trade in a New York second.  She not only went into this move, more game and optimistic than 99% of the kids her age, she adapted to many things in Europe far better than her mom. 

What can I say about Andy that you didn’t already know except for his integrity and devotion to us as a father, husband and provider, stands strong as he works his ass off in Eindhoven without his family.  The visits home will be too few, the weeks too long, but unlike millions who must endure time apart from a family member (military, migrant workers, prisoners, people who must leave their country for years before the rest of the family can join) we know Andy is doing challenging and exciting work and that there will be an end to our separation.

Many times throughout these past months I’ve been told that this experience will provide great writing material.  While I may or may not ultimately write about our time away, I am thankful that I have writing as an outlet.  In fact, I don’t know what people who don’t write do when life is a struggle.  How do they process the images, the hurt, the disappointment, if not through words?  Writing helps me sort out my feelings and provides a shelter, though it is one I usually seek once the storm has passed.  Nevertheless, I understand that I have much I owe to my writing.  I think of it as a gift from the gods, and the words come through me, not necessarily from me.  But these words above are definitely mine; thanks, grazie, danke, and merci.