Action de Grâces (Thanksgiving)

Tonight, I am thankful.

I am not exactly happy. Not at this particular moment. I’m not exactly unhappy, either. I’m just “low.” It’s hard to leave the place I wish most of all to be. No, not Cornwall, ON. Just close to my best friend and partner in crime, the husband. Home is not la maison grise, as much as I love this house we chose together. Home is wherever I lay down to sleep with him at night. It’s harder still to leave when I know life isn’t particularly fun for him right now due to a recent injury.

However, I’m thankful.

I’m thankful that I had SUCH a great weekend that it proves a bit disheartening to return to the lovely house that’s not quite a home without the husband. I’m lucky, but it’s not all luck. I chose my husband. I put myself out there a bit and chose to get to know him better. I found someone intelligent, and funny, and fun to be with, and I chose to spend more time with him. I chose to take a chance and let myself feel what I felt for him, even though he’s not always the most emotive or reciprocal person I’ve ever met. But I didn’t choose my in-laws. THAT was just blind luck. I got very lucky to gain not only my best friend as a husband, but also new Canadian family. I now have a pain-in-the-ass brother-in-law I wouldn’t trade away if I could (who is *suspiciously* nice to me much of the time…yeah, beau-frère, I’m watching you!). I also have a delightful new set of parents who welcome me into their family as if I’ve always been there.

I’m thankful that I got to share this past long weekend with my husband and our Canadian family. I know some people were not able to travel to see their families, and that is hard. We had a wonderful time, cooking and eating together, joking and teasing together, sitting by a crackling fireplace and talking together. It was definitely a weekend of memories I’ll carry always. I’ve now seen a crippled man open a champagne bottle by slicing through it with a sabre. And I’ve also seen a man childproof the detached cork and neck of that same bottle and give it to me for my memory box, in honour of our family toasting our marriage with that bottle. I’m grateful for those moments, and for the ease with which they came.

I’m thankful that I was there to help my husband when he needed the help. It stinks that he got injured, but at least I got to ease his burdens a bit in the early part of the ordeal, even if I had to come back to Quebec before I’d have liked to. We got lucky that, as bad as it is, it wasn’t worse. We’re fortunate that the injury is the only issue. He won’t have to discontinue training for his new career, nor did we incur back-breaking medical bills as too many families do when it comes to a moderate injury that requires hospital care. I’m happy that, while I couldn’t take away all pain and restore his poor ankle, I could help him get around and get in and out of his cast, and I could make a few minutes at a time absolutely right and happy with some back rubs and some snuggles.

I’m thankful that I have a life to return to here in the Saguenay. It’s still smaller than the life I left behind, but it grows all the time. I just got back today, and already I have plans Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made here, that they include me in their lives, that they share laughter and food and good times. I deeply appreciate that they help fill the hole left by my husband’s departure with so much happiness that some days, I almost forget to miss him. I’m glad to have plans, and to talk to people who are smart and interesting and funny. I’m fortunate to have people who work to help me learn more French, and to whom I can turn when I really need help in the community.

In case you can’t tell, I have much for which I give thanks. I’m in one of the strangest situations I’ve ever had to live through…but things are still GOOD! Certainly, I will be happier when the husband is once again my roommate. When I can once again feed and pamper and tease him on a daily basis. But even while that is missing, I have a pretty great life. It helps to remind myself, especially when I feel a bit low. I still wouldn’t trade with any of you. I’m even grateful for the tears that rise to my eyes when I think about what I miss the most, and of all I still have to smile about. Sure, Quebec broke my emotions, and it’s weird for me to cry so easily. But I FEEL. I’m thankful that I feel so much. I have so much good around me to feel. If it makes me a bit weird…well, then I suppose I conclude by saying I’m thankful that the people most important to me in life obviously appreciate weirdness.

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