1. Opportunities to come together and celebrate. You probably think I'm talking about the wedding but the funeral is actually what I had in mind (not to say that the wedding wasn't a great celebration, because it was; the pounding in my head this morning tells me it actually might have been a little too great).
On Friday, we celebrated the life of a woman I didn't really know. She was my great-step-grandmother-in-law, and I had only met her a handful of times. I remember very vividly when I was a kid, and I was at a funeral for someone I loved very dearly and I was angry at all of the people who were there that didn't seem to know the deceased, and I asked my dad why they thought they should be there. He looked at me and said, "Jessie, this isn't for the person who died. The funeral is for the people who are left missing him. You go for those who are grieving."
So, that is exactly what I did on Friday. I went for the bereft. Everybody there was so sad to have lost her, but they were so filled with joy to be together and to share stories about her life. Sometimes, when you hear about the way someone lived their life, it re-focuses you and reminds you of how you want to live your life, and what you want to be remembered for.
2. The people I've somehow managed to surround myself with. I've said it a million times; I've got great friends. As we were celebrating last night, I was amazed to think of what we've all been through together: how many of each others' weddings have we attended or participated in, the birth of at least 5 kids (you get them together and get them running around, and you sort of lose track of how many there actually are) and countless other events. It's nice to have friends who are there for all phases of life-- people you don't outgrow. I was so afraid I would never see them again after the birth of O, but they've been right there, growing with us.
3. A husband who is willing to split the parenting work 50/50. As I type this, he's bathing O. He actually came home tonight and decided that it was time to start potty training, so he's been spearheading that operation for the night (don't worry about him, I'll have the day-shift all day tomorrow). I don't know what life would be like if I were on my own through this parenting ride.