Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I am thankful for you.

Today starts the OKC leg of our road trip to Kansas City for Thanksgiving. And it's that time of the year again when we really start to reflect on our lives and hopefully become more aware of the people around us who have influenced and changed our lives in small and positive ways. I know I've written long drawn out pieces on a few people who have affected the course of my life, Dr. Smokewood, my mother, my husband, but I thought today that I would take some time run the gammut. Start at the beginning and make a list. There have been so many people in my life who have taught me something and who are part of the person I am today. And I am so thankful to have know those precious people and had the influence of relationships with them in my life. So it begins.

Angey Salmon (Price). I made my first prank call with her during our mom's garage sale one Saturday. She taught me how to take risks from a very young age.

Liz Shelton (Justice). Her one little act of defiance toward a Sunday School teacher in 5th grade taught me what friendship really was and I'll never forget it.

Jackie Fournier (Kueny). She tought me what it was like to really be able to depend on someone. Even in the tough times, she was only a front yard away.

Whitney English (Kolb). She inspired me to write. To create. And in our early adult years, she was my independent woman partner in crime. Dirti Martinis all around!

Josh Dykstra. We were young and great friends for years. He saw through the chaos and the rebellion when no one else could. I wasn't ready for it, but this was where I first understood unconditional love. And what a lifetime lesson.

Caroline Mosley (Miller) and Dana Weeks (Wise). Both my childhood BFF's. They both taught me to push the boundaries and have some fun. They were consumately there for me. Even to this moment though many miles seperate us.

Elaine Smokewood and Marsha Keller. My dearest professors during undergrad at OCU. They are two of the most intelligent and wise women I know. They taught me to question everything, and showed me the world was actually a much bigger place than I had previously been told. They helped form my world view.

Dani Boyles. My sister and I endured so much together and alone at the same time. But we came out of it partners. We are more alike than we ever knew and she is one of the true great loves of my life.

Clint Brewer. One of the greatest friendships of my life. I learned about the nuances of relationships. I learned about change. I learned that growth hurts sometimes, but you're always better for it in the end.

My Mother, Shery. Even in her moments of weakness she is still the strongest person I know. And probably the most intelligent on the face of the planet. I'm convinced. No one can have a better mother than I do. It's a phisical impossibility.

My Father, Bobby. The truest representation of uncondtional love in my life. It literally does not matter what I do. Think of a bad thing, name it, and if I did it, my daddy would still love me and tell me so. No judgement. Ever. Just love.

Ryin Jones. My great OKC friend who makes me keep it real and helps me question what I know and what I don't know. Friends like Ryin are definitely in short supply.

Poncho Cochran, My husband. The absolute gutsiest and bravest man I know. I've never known anyone so willing to ask themselves the hard questions, AND willing to act to change once they find the answers. He's not just about the knowing, he thrives on the doing. And wow, how THAT will change a relationship.

And so this Thanksgiving, that is my list. Of course there are scores of other people who have made a difference in my life. And if you're reading this and I've somehow left you off, please know that your relationship in my life has changed me. We are all blank canvases and our relationships leave their marks on us throughout our lives. And many of mine are helping to create what hopefully someday will be something close to a masterpiece. It's pretty great so far!

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!