We are just one week away from Thanksgiving. I had been feeling anxious about the holidays, but now, as we get closer to them, I’m feeling more excited and positive. I know it’s going to be especially difficult to get through Thanksgiving and Christmas without Elliot in our arms. But I also know we’re going to be surrounded by family and so much love in the coming weeks.

When I first started thinking about Thanksgiving, I wasn’t sure what to be thankful for. I was so focused on Elliot’s death, and couldn’t see past the fact that she’s not in our arms. It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to us, and our family. What could I possibly be thankful for now???

Luckily, I came out of that fog and realized it is very important to acknowledge and celebrate the many things that I am fortunate enough to have.

Elliot. I’m so thankful for the time spent with her. Her physical life may have been short, but it was beautiful and meaningful. She will always be our daughter, and I’m so thankful she chose Ben and me to be her parents. We have so many wonderful memories of our time together while she was alive, and when she was born. I will always treasure these memories. She may not be in our arms, but she’s still very present in our lives. Elliot has been with us every step of the way along our new journey. I feel her all around me, in everything I do. I will love and cherish Elliot forever.

Ben. We’ve been together for almost 12 years. We were so young and (mostly) innocent when we started dating. We grew up together, from kids in college to adults. We’ve learned how to navigate this crazy thing called life. He’s an amazing father, husband, and friend. I wish I could describe just how loved I feel by this man, and just how much I love him. But I can’t. There are no words to describe that kind of love. I’m so proud of him and all that he’s become. Most of all, I’m proud of the kind of dad he is to Elliot. I know she’s proud of him too. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would. In a heartbeat. Ben and Elliot forever.

Family and Friends. I sometimes cry tears of happiness just knowing how loved and supported we are by our family and friends. We knew we were loved before Elliot passed away, but the way everyone came together to support us, and each other, is truly amazing. Our family and friends, old and new, have carried us through the most difficult time in our lives. Life is so unpredictable, as we all know. Sometimes it’s good and beautiful. Sometimes it’s bad and messy. I’m just glad we have each other to get through it. No matter what, we have each other. Ben and I will always be there to support you too.

N,C,S,E,T,V. Those are the first initials of our nieces and nephew. I’m so thankful for these kiddos. They’ve made our lives fun and exciting, and they’ve filled our hearts with so much love. It’s been fun watching them grow. They each have their own unique personality. And there’s never a dull moment when they’re around. I look forward to many more years of fun and love with each of them.

20150305_145917Haley and Coco. Yes, our fur babies. I love them so much, and I’m so thankful they are still here with us. They’re getting up there in age (almost 13!), but overall, they’re doing very well. They still keep us on our toes. I can’t keep the house clean with these two around, but it’s okay. Their love, loyalty, and cute faces make it all worth it.

The Loss Community. This is a club no one ever wants to join. Once you’re in, there’s no going back. I wish such a club didn’t exist, but sadly, it does. This club has some of the strongest, most brave women (and men) I’ve ever known. The support from the loss community carried me through some of my darkest days. Pregnancy/infant loss is a dark and isolating experience. When tragedy strikes, it’s so important to surround yourself with people who have gone through a similar experience. I can’t tell you how alone I felt as a loss mother at first. I didn’t know how I could go through life like that. Turns out, I didn’t have to because I wasn’t alone. I’m not alone. I will never be alone. I’ve made some really great friends along the way. I don’t know where I’d be without these amazing women.

One recurring theme in all of this is LOVE.

I am thankful for LOVE.

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