1. I am thankful for my sons. Both of them have tremendous hears and a huge capacity for love. They have strong beliefs and will stand up against tyranny every chance they get. They have grown up to be men who I am very proud of.
2. I am thankful for my 5 grandchildren for making me cry, laugh, smile and frown! Know that I love you all unconditionally! Never let anyone tell you differently. Your grandma bursts with smiles and pride when she talks about all of you!
3. I am Thankful for the Mothers of my grandchildren. Without you, they would not be here. While you may not be married to my sons any longer, know that we have a bond that cannot be broken because of your children. You hold a special place in my heart because you are their mother.
4. I am thankful for Gib and Jean for being my birth parents. I had a very rocky start in your care. Being born 2 months premature in 1957 had its own problems. It proved that I am strong and a survivor. Know that I forgave you long ago even though the abuse is not forgotten.
5. I am thankful for my Dad, William Ernest Leech! Your work ethics, unconditional love for a child that was not yours and your generosity to others were my life lessons from you.
6. I am thankful for my Uncle Lee. You were not tall in stature but there is no man that could ever be as tall as you in my book. You always made time for me! (even when you were in the middle of an important meeting at work.) You always showed me that life was worth living. You never knew this but you saved my life on more than one occasion. On a couple of those visits, I was coming to say goodbye and to see you one last time.
7. I am thankful for my Aunt Loretta. You tried to teach me how to take care of a house. I still think Saturdays are for cleaning the house and I feel guilty when I don't do it. I am waiting for you to crack the whip! You made me iron sheets and do dishes by hand. This taught me patience and gave me time to think. You taught me life lessons that I would not have ever had otherwise.
8. I am thankful for my best friend and chosen sister Diane and her family. You gave me a stable environment to learn about family values, how to deal with adversity between brothers and sisters, unconditional love and what it means to have a two parent family with parents that loved each other.
9. I am thankful for Annette because you were the surrogate mom when I had none and negotiator with Dad. I enjoyed our time together and I miss you lots. I still want to pick up the phone and call you!
10. I am thankful for my grandmother Grace. You taught me that no matter how old your children are, you are the Mom! You taught me that children respect their elders no matter the age. You taught me unconditional love when you defended your feelings for me to others in the family. You made me feel special and loved. You were my protector and you made no bones about being the Mama bear protecting her cubs no matter who hurt us. You also taught me that in the face of Cancer, you had courage, determination and you could still smile and have time up until the end for all of us. I thought many times about you during my own battle with Cancer. You are my shining star! You died 48 years ago today and I still miss you.
11. I am thankful for living to be 55. From the time I was born, many things have occurred in my life. I could have ended my existence and tried on many occasions prior to the age of 17. Something or someone always stopped me. Looking back, I would have missed out on a lot of my life now. The Ford family would have died out as no one else had boys to carry on the name. There is a grandson to carry it on now too. Hopefully he will not be the end. I would not have met many of the wonderful people that I have in my life. I have lived all over this country being a military wife. Looking back my life was not that bad. I have much to be thankful for. I am strong and I am a survivor of many things. I am a survivor of rape and incest. I am a survivor of Cancer. I am a mother. I am a grandmother. I own a gun. I am not afraid to use it. Mess with me and mine - this includes family and chosen family - you got some answering to do!
12. I am thankful for my bother Michael. Your life was short but full. You are the one who understood me more than anyone else and what I was going through. You showed me that through adversity were become stronger. You showed me that I was really ok.
13. I am thankful for Alice & Bob (Still miss you Bobby). I would never have made it through the first deployment without you Alice. Your family became my family during those years. You helped raise my boys when Ed and Bob were gone. You introduced me to Birds and hyper dogs! You are part of my Chosen family.
14. I am thankful for my Chosen Family. Chrissy, Kevin, Denise and Alan and their entire families. I have to giggle every time I think about when we met. Affinity! Such a strange world that was! We became fast friends. You were there for me when I got both of my divorces. You listened and did not take sides. You empathized with me and let me rant and rave. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for reminding me that chosen family is extremely important. Thank you for introducing me to Blue Hair! We have had many ups and downs in our lives and we all have been there for each other. I am happy to say that I have two brothers and two sisters right here in St. Louis! I have Nieces that knew if I was called, they were in trouble! I am so proud of both of you Cara and Kelly! You both found men who love you and I could not ask for anything better for you. Harmony is the added bonus to the family! She is adorable and I love her a lot! I have Nephews that are growing up to be fine young men. Joseph and I discovered that our world got very small when we ended up at a convention together. Collin and Zach - I cannot wait to see what you two do with your lives! I love all of you!
15. I am thankful for my cousins, Lee Ann, Mary Lou, Cheryl. I know early on in our lives we did not always get along because I was adopted and obnoxious at the same time. I am extremely thankful that we are friends now and want you all to know that I have always loved you and have always considered you my family.
16. I am thankful for my best friend Britt. He has been there when others couldn't and made me do serious reality checks on things that were happening around me. You have shown me the world of Gaelic sports, Independent Films, Detective shows, the Rosicrucian Order, and White Wolf. I may never forgive you for that last one!
17. I am thankful for Ed. I have known you since I was 12. We got married after I turned 21. Your family became mine. Regardless of your dad and my arguments I loved him. I love your mom still. You are the father of my boys and for that I will forever be thankful! Our marriage was not perfect but we grew apart during our military time. Other things happened beyond our control that ended our marriage. We share a new bond now with the grandchildren. I am so very happy that you found a wife that compliments your beliefs and that accepts my sons and the grandchildren as hers.
18. I am thankful for Don because you taught me that things are not always as they seem. 17 years is a long time to be with someone. I learned that my love is blind. I learned heartbreak and anguish. I also learned that I am stronger than I thought. It just took time to heal. I am glad we remained civil through it all. It could have been far different otherwise. Thank you for keeping an eye on my mother and getting her groceries. She needs that attention that I cannot give her.
19. I am thankful for my boss. He practices what he preaches and fights for all of us. He brought the afternoon shift officers Thanksgiving dinner last year and drove 2 hours each way to do it. He is a keeper in my book. I would work for him anywhere and anytime.
20.I am thankful for my coworkers for working as a team and making my job easier. (Most of the time) ;) You are all very dear to me and I worry about all of you when things are not going right in your life. Sandy hit home for one of you and I worried along with you about your family. That is how I am. I consider you all friends and I hope that we can all stay that way.
21. I am thankful for my sisters and my half-brothers (all 9 of you). All of you have taught me that blood is not thicker than water. You have shown me that you are all self centered, egotistical and not worth my time. We may have the same last name after all this time again, but I took it back to honor my heritage. None of you are worthy of that name. The Crawford Clan motto is "Tutum te robore reddam" which means "I will give you safety by strength". With 10 of us we had the strength of family but you chose to not have a full family. You chose to create the rift between all of us. The reason you claim is we do not have the same mother. Some are Dorothy's and Some are Jeans's. Not any of our faults. That would be Gibby's fault. So our family is now fractured by your actions and none of us are true family.
22. I am thankful for my Spiritual Beliefs because without them I would be lost. They have helped me through everything that has happened in my life.
23. I am thankful for my Mom. You took me from my real parents who abused me (your bother and sister-in-law) and raised me until you could not handle your reality any more. I learned that shock treatments make you forget the abuse you did. (I know it ran in the family). I also learned that depression, abuse and fear are horrible to children who do not understand. I learned that you are a bitter old woman who really is out of touch with reality and have been all your life. I have no real feelings left for you because you have destroyed every effort that I have made to be your daughter. Aside from that, I am thankful that you married William Leech. While I hated the last name, I loved him. He was both mother and father to me in a time when a non-blood relative did not get custody in a divorce. I am thankful for the lesson you and he taught me about divorce and that it can be amiable. I used that twice in my life time. I am thankful you love your grandchildren and spent countless hours and days playing house with them when they were small. They love you. They have no memory of what you did before they were born. I wish I could do that.
24. I am thankful for living in the United States and not some other country. I am thankful for the freedoms that I have and for those that died for my freedom. I am thankful for the Consitution of the United States that our country adopted in its infancy. I am an American and proud of it. I am We the People!
25. I am thankful for cancer research and the amzing breakthroughs that are happeming! With out the research I would not be here! Thank you to my wonderful doctor who is also my friend! I am thankful for allergy shots because otherwise I would not enjoy all the food that I do! Being born alergic to everything but goats milk is not fun. I will say that I do not like normal milk. It has to have a slight sweet taste for me to like it.
26. I am thankful for books! I am an avid reader and enjoy all types of books. I read every day and the authors that I enjoy make me live in another life for a time. I enjoy all kinds of books from romance, to mysteries to horror to pretty much anything out there. If an author cannot hook me in the first chapter, the book is not worth reading. I loved books so much that I worked at Border's as an assistant manager just so I could get a discount! I so miss that store!
27. I am thankful for Bobby Sherman, Davy Jones, David Cassidy, Donny Osmond and Michael Jackson. Your posters hung on my walls and your music played on my radio as a teen. I am thankful for the music of the 50s and 60s that my dad introduced me to. Johnny Cash, the Carter Family, Chubby Checker. There is movie of me doing the twist. I think I was 4. I loved to dance then and I still love to dance now. I am a rocker and I love music.
28. I am thankful for Science Fiction! I learned tolerance for others who are different from Star Trek. I learned that there is always good in people from Star Wars. (It might be hard to find). I learned that being a Browncoat was better from Firefly! I had new heroes! Captain Kirk, Luke Skywalker and Captain Malcolm Reynolds. I am thankful for all the actors and actresses who have made me laugh, cry, get mad and everything in between! You deserve a forever standing ovation for your creativity and you wonderful ability to create a world in which I can get lost for a time! I also can revisit that world now with the invention of the VCR, DVD and Blue Ray players.
29. I am thankful for inventors. Without them, I would not have radio, television, internet, telephones, microwaves, gas or electric stoves,ships, subs, cars, trains, planes, etc etc. The list is endless. They have made our lives easier! They have provided us with countless hours of entertainment.
30. I am thankful for Facebook Live Journal for keeping my family and friends in touch all over the world!