Today is Thanksgiving. I almost never blog here. But today I want to do so to list all the things I can truly be thankful for on Thanksgiving. My illness is and has been for a long time been an extremely difficult one–both emotional and more recently with very difficult physical symptoms. Much of my illness is mysterious and confusing. My life is extremely extremely hard. Yet today I recognize many things to be thankful for from my loving God and Jesus. I want to list each one I can remember for you:

*My Special Relationship With Jesus–without His strength, holy messages of a healing and consoling love I could not go on. This relationship is centered around His true and real prescence in the Holy Catholic Eucharist. I love Him so so much in spite of the great pain and confusion I go through.

*Boys And Girls Club Volunteer Job-with the strength of God I am able to do some professional volunteer work to help kids in need. The Boys and Girls Club loves my work I do for them! The mind still works 🙂

*My Parents-though I must live with them and it is very difficult they are my biggest blessing. Especially my Mom who does so much for me in terms of emotional support and many other types of things to help me with my complex and difficult illness. She is my true angel and I love her so much. Dad and Iare talking more thelast few months–usually just about sports buts thats good,. He is 81 and well slipping a bit in decent physical shape. I know he would do anything to make me better but just doesnt know what to say or do. I love him and am thankful for him too.

*My Special And Precious Friends With Mental Illness–some are Internet friends from this site. Other "real life" friends. We support and counsel each other regarding our illnesses. Pray for each other. Help each other get through the real rough times. But also share the good times and good things in our lifes. I thank God so much for their friendship and support and that He uses me to reach out to love, careforthem and minister to them about His strength, hope and love for them. Let me just name them here I think thats important–Heide (my special who seems to relate to all I go through), Natalie (my favorite Wildcat fan and so wise with counsel andcaring and strong),Louise (my U.K. Sweetheart so speical who I share so much in common with regarding our illnesses–she has a huge heart and is so strong in the midst of what she goes through), Heather, Anna (so special-God please heal her), Kathy (we disagree on our politics but she is a strong, caring one :-0), Azriel (my new good friend), Lauren (pray for her she needs our prayers).

*My Caregivers–so blessed with incredibly good caregivers. My therapist Jeff who understands and knows me well and keeps me going, my psychiatrist who is patient, so smart and as good as they come., another counselor I see–a kind, patient man of Jesus who says special prayers for me and gives me good counsel–and finally Father O'Leary–a oh so very special Priest–patient, kind, wise who gives me special spiritual counsel, advice on my illness and is a good friend. Please pray for him as he has Lou Gehrigs disease-pray for a miracle for him.

*Montour Trail And Nature-my walks/exercise on the trail often refresh my mind and give me hope for a healing in God because of the beauty of nature–especially the beautiful blue sky and incredible mix and shapes of the beautiful clouds, as well as the wildflowers, butterflies and streams. I say some of my best prayers here. Same thing with some beautiful state parks I have recently visited.

*Photography-a new hobby of mine. With God's help made it to all 4 digital camera classes. Now taking alot of pictures of family, nature and my special cat Luke and sharing them with Internet friends. Learning alot and enjoying my time taking the pictures, editing and sharing them on the Internet and enjoying the memories and beauty of them.

*Luke–my special cat Luke! Slowly payingmore attention to him and winning him back. He is BIG boy who loves to eat, purr and sleep and is so playful. He loves me 🙂 Let me know if you want to see a picture of him.

*Hussan-God has used me to love and help this special Somilian refugee young man for many years (he is now 18 and a college student!) but I am really the one being blessed.I have helped him andwatched him grow and mature into an incredible young man overcoming so many obstacles. He has no father and is very poor. In the last year he has asked me for advice about girls!!! :-). And also for advice about the papers he must write for college,. Incredible. He is so special to me I am going to buy him a computer in December–too poor to afford one for college–I am glad this will help him so much. Proud of him in so many ways. For example he wants to be a social worker.

*Reading-though it is often hard beccause of concentration and focus I am sometimes able to enjoy my novels. It takes some work but I get through them. Have read some excelllent ones in recent months and am so thankful to God for that,

*TV-again because of focus, mood, fatigue concentration it is hard but enjoy some TV. Still pretty good at Jeopardy in spite of it all!–though my mind not what it used to be. Recently also able to focus a bit better on some TV sports and get some enjoyment–Pitt basketball, Steeler games.Also enjoy CNN news some in the mornings. And can sometimes get some laughs from Ellen Degeneres!

*Music-recently able to focus a bit better and enjoy some music. Sometimes dance and sing out loud while exercising or in the car! Also enjoying some some relaxing classical music.

In summary, I have many many blessings in spite of my great emotional and physical mysterious and confusing pain. I thank Jesus for them and have real hope in Him that it will all get better.


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