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Every year I try and write a “Thanksgiving post,” both in honor of a holiday I love and in an attempt to remind me of my annual New Year’s Resolution to think of three things I’m grateful for throughout each day.

Most years I forget to do this by Martin Luther King Day.

I will say that this year I was a little better at it than most which is surprising, because the last eighteen months have been challenging to say the least chez McCafferty, and we are literally just starting to breathe a collective sigh of relief that things are finally starting to improve. I pretty much only got to my resolution at night before I’d go to sleep (which might be part of the reason this over-fifty gal is finally sleeping better), but better late than never I always say. I actually managed to write down some of the things I was particularly grateful for this past year, and I’d like to share my top ten with you.

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I would also like to share with you that I’m actually looking forward to Thursday, and there have been many years in the past that taking Justin to our family’s Thanksgiving was pure work, with very little enjoyment whatsoever. Over the years it has gotten much easier to spend the holiday with him, and I wish I had known this would happen years ago when we struggled so much just to get him through the meal. If you are in this place currently with your child please know everyone in our community has been there at the holidays, and my profound wish for you is that this is the year things begin to ease up for you and your family. Remember, even if it’s difficult, there’s usually wine and make sure you get dessert to go!

Here are my top ten reasons for gratitude this Thanksgiving. My wish is that you and yours have a wonderful holiday as well!

1) After an exhausting year, we believe Justin finally has a correct diagnosis and we’ve been able to help him considerably.

2) I am fortunate to have wonderful friends both in and outside of the autism community who remain my sounding board and my solace when things get tough (and share my laughter when we can!).

3) My youngest not only loves middle school (who loves middle school?!) but is thriving due in large part to the consummate professionals instructing him (who put up with me too!).

4) I am grateful for my husband, who does so much for everyone in our family and still makes me laugh after twenty-seven years.

5) Beyond grateful for the return of Justin’s smile, his affectionate nature, and his belly laugh which makes the world a better place.

6) I am thankful for how hard Zach works every day to reach his goals.

7) I am so appreciative of the level of excellence Justin receives every single day in his school placement, and the level of compassion all of the staff show our boy.

8) Grateful for my birth family and the family I married into for “getting it” as much as they can, and for their constant support.

9) I am incredibly thankful for my readers, who leave the most compassionate and inspiring comments and who lift me up every week.

10) Grateful, despite the challenges, for my beautiful life.

For more on my family visit my blog at

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