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Well, today marks the end of a holiday weekend. For many of us this was the first one for us to go through without our loved one. For some of us it was the 2nd or more.

I think the anticipation was worse than the actual day, but this got me to thinking, evrything seems so different now and though I am not thankful that Karen is no longer here, there is a lot for me to be thankful for. I have heard when things seem hopeless, think of the things you are thankful for and that will help you to get through it.

The thing that comes to mind is this, I am thankful that Karen was in my life, even though I only got to know her for 12 short years, everything I am today is because of her. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't have my wonderful 7 year old son. He means so much to me, I wouldn't have been able to make it this far without him. I gave a lot to Karen, as she gave a lot to me. For 12 years I knew love and happiness that I never could have imainged. She heelped pick me up when I couldn't, she was there for me when I was down and needed a shoulder to cry on. I could go on for hours.

Today I look at my life and wish that Karen were here, but at the same time I have to look at what has happened in the mean time. For the first time in my life, I don't have to worry about what bill not to pay this month so I can make the payment on the bill I didn't pay last month. I am thankful that Karen's work had a small life insurance policy on every employee. We tried to get life insurance on Karen years ago, but because of her health they wouldn't insure her. I still have my house and my family.

I don't know if this will help anyone, but I know for myself when I am down in the dumps, all I have to do is look around me. I also know this, that even if I didn't have any of this, I would still be thankful that I knew Karen and will be enternally grateful she was in my life.

Love to you all

Derek

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Derek,

You just shared with us a beautiful thought, it did touch me alot. Indeed, life looks like some parallel one, in ages Id think I would be living my life without Chris, but I'm very thankful too for every second I had with him, and having him as part of my life.

The print Karen left in your life is one of the biggest treasures you have, and to remember that the wonderful person you are is because of her, and of course your son which is a blessing and a part of Karen too.

I think too that even though now I'm having the worse time of my life, I wouldn't change a bit of it, because I was lucky enough to meet the love of my life, to be loved by the angel Chris was...all this pain is worth it. I wish too I would have spent much much more years with him than the 3 years we did, but in that time I learned so much from him, he was the biggest part of my life, and I can say too that I am who I am because of him.

I have had good things coming along in this 5 months, I gotta be thankful for that too, it does hurt to know I can't share it with him anymore, but wherever he is I know he'd be proud of me, as I'm sure Karen would be so proud of you too.

Thanks for your sahring your thoughts Derek, we have to be grateful for what we have now, even though everything seems dark, there are always so glimpse of light around that we must see.

Take care and wish you may start a good week.

Gabriela

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Yes, I have much to be thankful for too...life is hard and sometimes it sends things our way that we don't ask for or want, but we have many blessings too. I have two wonderful children and a young man who will soon be my son in law. I have my home and now a job. And I have the love and support of a wonderful man that has been friends with me and George for years. I have sisters that care about me. And I have always seemed to have had food to eat. I am thankful for heat and transportation. God is good to us even when He doesn't always give us what we want. He is there for us even in the midst of our problems.

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Derek,

You are so right. I think to myself if never having Jason I wouldve been spared such grief, but I wouldnt have had the chance to know such a loving wonderful man. We have the greatest gift of all this holiday. We have our memories and our sons(which reminds me more and more of his father every day.) :) Thank you and Happy holidays.

PS I went to a meeting on surviving the holidays after someone dies and the main thing that I remember is to keep focused on the meaning of the holiday not the traditions. To remember that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. It does help.

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Derek,

You sound rather upbeat, which is good! So awfully glad to hear that things are going your way.

As I look around the pantry it's a bit empty, however, I found this can with "your" name on it.

It says "Seasons greetings and holiday wishes to both you and your son Carson."

Take care Derek!

PS. Gonna sign off before I sound all girly and whatnot.

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Sometimes it's hard to "see" what we should be thankful for when we are so sad. I just did my 2nd Thanksgiving without my wonderful husband - I must say, it was a little easier than last year.... (something for you all to hang on to) Wednesday is my birthday - November used to be a happy month, but now it is one of my worst months.

Besides my daughter, my grandkids and my family (especially my inlaws...) the one thing I am truly thankful for is the 21 years I had with my husband. They were the BEST! As you all mentioned...just not long enough.

Yeah, putting up a tree last year was really awful - the only reason I did was for the grandkids. Hopefully this year it will be easier....

Hugs to all of you!!!!

Patti

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Derek,

Such a beautiful message - from a man with a warm and loving heart. You and Karen were lucky to have had each other for the years you were able to share - and now you will carry her spirt with you into a new future. Somehow time softens the grief we carry just a little bit - and eventually we begin to focus on the wonders that our loved ones gave to us when they were with us.

None of this is easy - I still stuggle every day - but at least time has now allowed me to smile and remember - with gratitude - all the sweet parts of the years shared.

Our loved ones live within us forever - what a wonderful legacy each of them has left with us.

My best to you and Carson - always

Love,

John - Dusky is my handle on here

Love you Jack

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Dear Derek,

Thanks for your 'thanksgiving' reminders. It's funny, I was just thinking today about gratitude - all that I really do have to be grateful for, and one of the first on the list that came to mind was that Dick was in my life for 10 years - that we had that time together...I am so thankful for that.

I also thought about all he taught me...he taught me so much about kindness, friendliness, patience and tolerance...he was such a good man and gave me so much to learn and practice about love.

The last few weeks have been more painful than I could ever imagine...but a few days ago, I started feeling a bit better - and for that I am sincerely grateful.

Love, Benita

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