How lucky am I?

I spent the night with my oldest daughter last night. We had a great time. She lives an hour away which isn't far but in the winter it certainly can be. We went to see a movie with her boyfriend & I thoroughly enjoyed myself. When we first arrived at the theater, I made a light hearted comment about being the third wheel to which my daughter responded by throwing her arm around me & saying that no, I wasn't... her boyfriend was the third wheel. I love her so
So todaywe awoke to some pretty gusty winds & snow in the forecast. We did some errands & I got my hair cut before I decided I'd better head for home.
The weather didn't seem too bad when I first started out but that was shortlived. Once on the highway, visibility was almost zero in places & the roads were slippery. There were several cars off the road & I saw several police cars & ambulances going. I turned my radio off, said a prayer for whomever they were meant for, & drove a bit slower. I was not in a huge rush to get home & oddly enough, I enjoy driving in the snow when I'm alone.
Sometimes I forget how peaceful it is to drive without the radio on.. that was advice that someone gave me early on after my seperation to help ease tension & relax. Drive with no radio & really take notice of your surroundings. It really does calm my mind. So this afternoon, as I was driving & taking notice, of course my mind begins to wander & go over the past couple of days...
I had emailed my ex yesterday as it was the 3rd of the month & he had yet to transfer my child support payment. I was not angry but simply, gently reminded him. He replied back with apologies saying that he had completely forgotten what the date was & promptly sent my payment. In his reply though, he asked once again if I would consider allowing him to take our daughter to South Africa for vacation for a month this coming summer & told me that he & the OW were booking their tickets & thought he would try one last time.
That threw me for a bit of a loop since A) we had already agreed she would not be permitted to go until she is 14 and B) I wasn't prepared for the feelings I would have when it was her that was going to get to experience his place of birth & childhood & not me as we had always talked about & potentially were planning when he left.
I took a few minutes to collect myself before replying & then very gently explained in a non confrontational manner that I still could not allow that to happen at this time. I told him that I felt very sorry that I couldn't let her have this experience just yet. I told him that it wasn't out of anger or punishment towards him & that I had forgiven him for everything in our past but that forgiveness does not equal trust & that was something I may never have towards him again.
After sending the email, I left to go to my daughter's. The drive was not pleasant as this was time alone to think about his request. I asked myself if I was saying no because I'm still angry or because I'm jealous or simply because of him. I was wrestling with myself in my mind. I was feeling selfish for cheating my daughter out of this trip of a lifetime.
On my way, I stopped off at a very close friend's whom I only see when I go to see my daughter. At her place, I let it all out & had my little cleansing cry.. We talked over my reasoning for not wanting to go & she asked me straight out if it was only because of him.. but it's not. There is still way too much of a risk involved with her being only 10 years old & I really dont want to explain to her that I'm terrified that her father would not bring her back home. I would like to believe in him that he would never do that but he shattered all blind belief I had had in him 2 years ago.  I also let it out with my friend that I do get angry & it hurts that he is doing everything with her that we were supposed to do together... but then I let it go...
So back to my peaceful drive home.
As I was admiring my surroundings while driving (the snow had let up the closer I got to home), I realized how lucky I am.. These were some of my thoughts...
I am lucky to have two beautiful daughters.. One with whom I now share an extremely close, adult relationship with & the other a close relationship with but on a bit different level for now.
I am lucky to have my sight and hearing even though they may not be as sharp as they once were but I am still able to enjoy the beauty around me & hear the laughter, music & beautiful sounds of nature.
I am lucky to be young & have gone through a tremendous, life altering experience that has brought me self awareness, self love & close friendships & wisdom through all.
I am lucky that I have found a deep, spiritual relationship with God as a result of my experiences.
I am lucky to have a wonderful, caring support system of friends & family that I treasure.
I am lucky that I was able to see & take advantage of that door of opportunity that opened as a result of my seperation & go back to school to begin a new career.
I am lucky that I have the ability to read, write & learn each day.
I am lucky to live in a country that accepts people for who they are & teaches our young that acceptance so that maybe someday, we can live in a world without prejudice.
I am lucky that I have a comfortable apartment, heat, hydro, running water & food on the table for my daughter & I.
I am lucky that my ex is responsible & fair when it comes to financial matters for my daughter & I.
I could go on & on about all my thoughts I had on that drive home today but to sum it all up.. I came home to my dog that I'm so lucky to have waiting eagerly to greet me & I am lucky that I have found my way through a rough time in my life to the point where I really do carry an "attitude of gratitude"!
"Gratitude creates the most wonderful feeling. It can resolve disputes. It can strengthen friendships. And it makes us better men and women."-- Gordon B. Hinckley



Gratitude is all really.

Gratitude, for sure