Lakin ~ Thank you for being the smartest, sweetest, most matter-of-fact, tell-it-like-it-is 5-year old that I have ever had the pleasure to know. You make me proud of myself and proud of you and all that you are. I hope you never lose your sassy edge and never shrink from defending yourself and asking the questions that other people don’t think to ask.  I love you bear.

Addah ~ Thank you for giving me the biggest hugs and the sweetest kisses and for being the adorably cute fireball that you are. You make me remember that even when everything else is going wrong, being a mother to you and your sister is the best thing that I can ever do and it’s what matters most in our world. I love you bee.

Drew ~ Thank you for listening to me ramble and rant and cry, even though you don’t have to anymore.
Thank you for every time you have defended me and every time you’ve stood by my side through the years. We didn’t work and we both seem to be thriving apart in a way that we never managed to together, but I still love you and I will always treasure the times that we had.

Eric ~ Thank you for everything. You have inspired the best in me to come forth again. Thank you for making me smile, for making me happy, for making me want to be better than I am. You’re beautiful.

MDF ~ Thank you for being the best friends I have ever had. You all have stood by me and for me in countless ways over the last 3½ years and I love you. Thank you for letting me vent and cry and fall down and for picking me back up and dusting me off and reminding me that I am strong and I can do this. Meagan, Katie, Elizabeth, Wendy, Patsy, Tonya, both Stephs, Tiffani, Joyce, Amy, Lisa, April & Laura ~ I love you ladies.

Chris E. ~ Thank you for helping me through the hardest and the worst times of my life to date. Things will never be the same between us again now that you have broken my trust but for the rest of my life I wil remember that you were there for me when I needed you most this past spring and summer and that for a short time, you were the best friend I thought I’d ever have. I will always love what I know you can be. I forgive you, even though I will never understand what possessed you.

Colin, Zeb & Hilary ~ I love you all more than I can say. Yes, I fuck up sometimes and I’m not always the best sister (or person) that I can be. We all fuck up sometimes. In the end what matters is that you are my sister and my brothers and I would do anything that I can for any of you. Thank you for putting up with me, for supporting me, for watching my back, for always making me laugh until my sides hurt and for sometimes making me cry until my heart hurts. This life, it wouldn’t be the same without you three and I am grateful for each of you.

Stephanie, Jesse & Ashton ~ You make my siblings so happy and so loved and I am thankful for each of you. You are my family and each of you fits so well, as though you are the puzzle pieces that we couldn’t find for so long and now the puzzle… it’s finished and just needs a little glue to make it permanent (and ready for framing and hanging in the bathroom ;)). I love you three, my sisters, my brother.

Mama ~ I could never enumerate all the things that you have done for me and all the ways that I am thankful for you. I get stressed and don’t show it as well as I should but know that I love you so much and appreciate every thing about you. Thank you for standing up for me and for helping me sort out my feelings when it all gets too overwhelming. Thank you for letting me talk my fool head off when that’s all I can seem to do… talk.

Papa ~ Thank you for listening to me when I can’t shut up and for not judging the shit that comes out of my mouth sometimes. I love you.

Raina & Amanda ~ You ladies rock! Thank you for a great night out, for the laughter and the honesty and the talking and the sex shop visit. Thank you for being awesome friends!

So much to be thankful for… so many things and people.
* a great job and a paycheck
* new flannel sheets
* the perfect song that captures the moment
* yarn and needles to play with and focus on and be creative with
* finally being a part of a network of truly awesome people (Dede, Lisa, Tracey, Beth – the school’s PTA)
* a wonderful child-friendly neighborhood 0.2 miles from the best school in town
* great neighbors on both sides
* weekends!
* Mountain Colors Twizzle!
* an understanding and easy-to-talk-to therapist
* prescription medications!
* 24-hour postage kiosks
* Lee and Kelly ~ my two sweet fluffy animals who love me and keep me warm at night
* Target!
* my iPod (a gift from Drew a couple years ago, still my most treasured possession)
* — I’ve reconnected with so many people that I never would have otherwise (Raina, Sonny, Hali, RCM)
* my car — it’s not the best, the newest or the prettiest but it’s mine and I adore it.
* Izze — pomegranate, apple, clementine, mmmm.
* new bras!
* christmas lights
* rainbows that stretch across the sky and remind you to smile
* sunsets that make you pause to appreciate
* the Battery and the smell of low tide and the marshes
* waves breaking on the shore
* naked toes in the wet sand as the tide rushes back in
* wet paint on a canvas, painted by a genius with paint droplets on his jeans and bare feet
* smiles from strangers
* holding hands
* kisses from sweet daughters who wrap their arms around my neck and whisper how much they love me and how I will always be the best mama in the whole world
* hugs from the one with the plastic cup full of sedation
* late night phone calls
* finding myself, figuring out who I am and what I’m worth, learning how to be unapologetic for being Heather and owning up to my faults so that I can figure out how to do better, now that I know better.
* Time. It really does heal all wounds.

I could keep going.

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I'm Heather, a married mama of two teen girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet and wild preschool girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

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