This Thanksgiving I have so much to be thankful for!

I’m most thankful for my family.

As I sit here on Thanksgiving Eve, I realize how much I truly have to be thankful for this year. This has been undoubtedly the most challenging year of my life, but I feel so blessed.

First, I am so blessed for my family and the fact that my Dad is alive and progressing daily. In July, he had brain surgery for a subdural hematoma. The more we hear from doctors and nurses following his procedure, all who know much more about his condition than we do, the more blessed we feel to have him alive and progressing. In addition to that, he had a concussion, some spots removed from his face, a heart episode, a severe allergic reaction, and a knee injury where he couldn’t walk for several weeks. I think that I got them all…. Needless to say, the first thing that I am thankful for is my Dad being alive and being able to annoy me daily.

Second, I am thankful for my family! Both of my parents, my sister Krista, brother-in-law Kevin, nieces Natalie and Lena, and nephew Brendan have been there time after time to assist with my house. With my Dad being limited in what he can do, they have really stepped up and gone above and beyond. We do not let my Dad leave the ground as the initial concussion began when the ladder collapsed. There is no way that I could have finished the siding outdoors and the ceiling indoors without my brother-in-law. I owe them all so much, and hopefully one day I will be able to repay them.

I’m thankful for my new house. I am about two weeks away from moving into what is my dream home on a beautiful piece of land. I can’t wait to start my life there. I can’t wait to have a large garden in the summer and some animals grazing in the fields. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to design every single aspect of my house, and that my Dad has found a way to do everything that I have wanted to do.

I’m thankful that we’ve been able to do about 95 percent of the house ourselves. We had someone put the metal roof on, and we had someone assist with the electricity as you need a licensed electrician, but other than that, we’ve pretty much done it all ourselves.

I’m thankful for how tough this journey has truly been. It makes it so much more rewarding. It hasn’t been easy. I go to the house daily after work and spend all weekend working there. It has been really tough at times. There have been times that I have been incredibly frustrated and wondered if it was worth it. In a couple of weeks, I think that the answer will be yes. I’m also so thankful for everything that I have learned along the way.

As tough as it has been, I’m so thankful for my parents letting me live with them off and on for two and a half years and the last four months. I sold my house before my new one was done, and they have graciously welcomed me back home. Moving back in with them has not been easy for me at times, and I am sure that it has not been easy for them.

Tomorrow we’ll celebrate the first holiday without my grandfather, Max Gillette. For 93 years, he was the patriarch of the family. He passed away the afternoon of Oct. 21. There will be a piece missing as we all hold hands and say grace. Despite this, I am thankful for the time we all had with him. I’m also thankful that he is no longer suffering with a disease as terrible as dementia.

As tough as life is at times, we almost all have something to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Laura Reed

About Laura Reed

After 15 years in college athletics, the last seven as an assistant athletics director, I was burned out with 70-hour work weeks and extensive travel. I resigned my position and accepted a position in marketing at a small, vibrant college in my hometown of Unity, Maine. In the process I wanted to go back to my childhood where we raised polled Herefords, had a Christmas Tree Farm and spent many hours outside. I decided I wanted to build my own home on beautiful farmland that my family owns. With help from my Dad, the most talented person I’ve ever met, we are building my home together. I have decided to blog my experience – the ups and downs, the joys and frustrations. What was once an open field will one day be my home! The dream in my head is becoming reality. I can just see the lambs frolicking in the field, chickens in the barnyard and going running with my Alaskan Malamute!