With the holidays coming up, a lot of us are thinking about family. We're either thinking about how much we're dreading spending so much fucking time together, or trying to remember how thankful we are to just have them, or maybe we're thinking about the family we used to have and wishing with everything that even for this one little holiday, we had that back. In whatever form, most of us are thinking about family. With Thanksgiving coming up, we are reminded to be thankful for what we have and who we have.
Like everyone else, my family is far from normal. In fact, on the scale of messed up families, mine is pretty high up there. However, I am thankful for them. First and foremost, I'm thankful for my daughter. Her dad isn't around, and it kills me that he bailed, and it kills me even more that she looks like him. But if I didn't have her I would be lost. I am so thankful for my daughter. I'm thankful that I got to name her after my favorite Styx song and two of the best mom figures in my life. I'm thankful that she got my red hair and for her smile and how smart she is. Truth be told, if I hadn't had my daughter when I did, I would be dead right now. She saved me. That little girl is my whole world and I wouldn't trade her for anything or anyone or any different life.
Next, I'm thankful for my siblings; my sisters and my brother. Granted, two of them are step-siblings, but it doesn't feel like it. We were raised together, and we argue like actual siblings. You all drive me crazy and make me want to rip my hair out. I am so thankful for that. I'm thankful that when I don't feel I can turn to Mom or Dad with something, I know I can turn to you. I can trust all of you. And I'm totally thankful for the nights we just ordered a pizza, ate ice cream, and watched movies. Those were some of the best nights of my life, and I love that we can still do that.
I'm thankful for my step-mom. I have had many over the years (going back to no one having a normal family), but none like you. You treat me like your actual daughter and for that, I'm eternally grateful. I'm thankful that I can fight with you like my actual mom. I'm thankful that I finally have a normal mother-daughter relationship. I love you. Most of all, I'm thankful my dad found someone who actually loves him for him again.
Which brings me to my last point. My dad. He is my ultimate inspiration for everything. He taught me how to be kind, decent, and unfailingly generous. He also taught me to stand my ground and fight for myself and everything I believe in. My dad is my main support, without whom I could not stand. He has been my best friend, my biggest enemy, my favorite teacher, and the strongest hand to hold that's always there when I need it. My dad never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. Although at times, our house wasn't always the most welcoming, my dad was unfailing in his efforts to give me the sense to know that home is not a place. It is a feeling you get when you are surrounded by people or even just a person you love. However, I can't count the number of times my dad has apologized for not being more or doing more. He was always comparing himself to other people and showing my sister and me people who he thought would be great role models for us. As he guided me through my life, I don’t know if he ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was him. I'm thankful for everything he did. Even the mistakes he made with us growing up. I'm thankful that he did the best he could and he gave us such an amazing adventure. There was never a dull moment. I never felt unloved. Thank you, Dad. You have no idea the influence you have been in my life.
So, to everyone out there dreading the holidays because of their family, please take a minute and think. Remember what annoys you about them, but think how lost you would be if that annoying little habit had never been in your life. Family is so important. It doesn't matter if it's blood family or not. Family is family. Go to the holiday party. Fight with your family about politics or the football game or what you're wearing. Be thankful that they care enough to fight with you. Be thankful that you get to annoy them for another holiday season, and make sure to take a second and tell them how truly thankful you actually are to have them around.