This holiday season there is so much to be thankful for. It was shortly before this time last year when I started to really feel the effects of End Stage Renal Disease. For many years I had the thought that I would NOT do dialysis. I couldn't see myself dependant on a machine to prolong what would be the inevitable. Then Bruce and I were blessed to adopt our first son, Aaron when he was only 6 weeks old and my attitudes about dialysis started changing. We were greatly blessed again with the ability to adopt again from the same birth mother just 20 months later and any doubts about dialysis were now completely gone. My main drive now was to live to see my boys grow up and have families of their own. Last year when I started feeling so bad, I actually looked forward to starting dialysis so that I could feel better and hopefully live life with my kids. It's amazing when I look back and see the journey our lives have taken over the last 24 years when the news first came about my kidney failure. So of course, I'm thankful for life and health this holiday season. Bruce's dad had an emergency triple bypass the Friday before Thanksgiving. This came so suddenly and unexpectedly. Going into the surgery Friday evening the prognosis was not very promising but about 9 hours later the surgery was finished and Bruce's dad had made it through. His progress has been remarkable and the family is praising God for His healing hand and mercy. Bruce was able to travel on Thanksgiving up to Virginia to be with his family and visit with his dad and celebrate Dad's birthday on Sunday. So I'm very thankful for Lee's recovery. Bruce has been pursuing a doctorate degree and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, he had his last written exam (hopefully his last). This Friday will be his oral defense and if his committee likes what they see, he will be told to write up the dissertation. Writing the dissertation should not be that big of a deal because he has written sections already and is great at putting thoughts onto paper. When Bruce studies, he secludes himself and stays in the books every waking hour he is not at work. He even took a couple days off from work right before the test to study. The kids and I both are enjoying having him out of the room and with us. So that's another thing I'm thankful for. As mentioned in an earlier post, I've been working with the Sartec K-9 Unit which does search and rescues of lost kids, Alzheimer's patients and even cadaver recovery. We had our first of many parades last night with the dogs. My kids got to ride on the float and be part of a parade. It never occured to me how something like that could bring such joy to their faces. There we sat in low 30 degree weather with the rain/sleet/snow starting and stopping riding through the streets of Decatur and they had the best time of waving and telling people Merry Christmas. Thankfully we had about 3-4 layers of clothes on so the temperature never really became an issue with us. Four of our team walked beside the float with their dogs and as we made our way along the parade route I was struck with awe at what these dogs have done and what others are training to do. Of course the St. Bernard, Toby is always a big crowd pleaser. I heard many kids during the night yelling out, "There's Toby!!". Those kids have met Toby over the course of their young lives because of Safety Education classes the team does or some other class they have attended with him. So most of all I'm thankful to be able to see my kids having a great time with something as simple as a parade and the excitement of a child as they recognize one of God's creations who has impacted their life. What were you reminded of this Thanksgiving to be grateful for?