An Open Thank You Note to Those We Met Along the Way

I’ll start by warning you that this won’t be your run of the mill post. It won’t include delicious recipes and it won’t tell you how to decide what colour to paint your bathroom. But ultimately, this is my website, and I do what I want. #YOLO

Now that that’s out of the way, let me begin with a bit of context. By the time you read this, Brandon and I will have taken possession of our house – something that has been 2 years in the making (literally, they've been building it for 2 years). We’ve worked long and hard to get to this point in our lives and while we take great pride in this, arguably, it would not have been possible without the people we met along the way.

For some time now, I’ve been pondering how I could possibly express the level of gratitude we feel to those who we probably don’t thank often enough, to tell them what I really want them to know as we progress from one chapter to another; so here she goes.

I’m lucky to surround myself with intelligent, passionate and beautiful friends. They have been an inspiration to me since entering my life, at whatever stage that might have been. From gaining real world (sarcasm) knowledge by way of after school viewings of Jerry Springer (here’s looking at you T.R.), teammates turned into lifelong friends with a healthy dose of competition (N.G.), gal pals who grew with me through my terrible neon eye shadow and dark eyeliner days to nights full of laughs, memories, cheese and booze (M.A. & C.C.), to every friend in between, I am grateful. To strong women; may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.

My colleagues (#statelife) have been ever supportive and always willing to teach me and guide me and have become wonderful friends. I’m privileged to work for a great company with an even better group of guys.

To our beloved Chiefs, thank you for being a constant source of entertainment for me, for bringing us home back-to-back championships, for teaching us the value of teamwork and friendship and forever being supportive of the MacKinnon-Hale family. We love you, we love you.

Dem boys. What can I say? From BBs (J.S.) and Apache Burger (J.H., M.D., J.M.) to planning Bachelor parties and Sunday nights spent in hockey arenas, the memories we’ve made are countless, hilarious and will be treasured by us always. Most of all, thank you for letting your best friend be my best friend; he would not be him without you.

We are lucky to come from VERY large families. I could thank each and every one of our aunts, uncles and cousins for the role that they played in our lives thus far but I might have to start researching printing costs for what would surely become the longest autobiography known to man. So, in interest of time and cash funds, we THANK YOU. Thank you for being a safe haven, for being an escape from our parents, for being our first friends (think Trackers and baseball gloves, baking banana muffins, nights at Wrestlemania) and for giving us a chance (shout out to ABW). As some would say, it takes a village to raise a child; thank you – for being our village.

Now is when it gets hard.

Our grandparents hold a very special place in our lives. They are the skeleton of our families. They have acted as a lighthouse in times of rocky waves and passed on their wisdom and guidance; setting examples of the types of legacies we can only hope to mirror. Other things may change, but we start and end with family. And to my angels, wherever you may be, thank you for leaving the type of lasting impression that people make movies about. I hope I’m making you proud.

To my brothers-and-sister-in-law – thank you for being you. Thank you for lending me your brother. I promise to cherish every moment I have with him. We will always be there for you and our porch light will always be on if you need a friend, or a bed.

My Soul Sisters – Luce and Girl are the most genuine and caring people I’ve had the privilege of having in my life. As best friends go, you won’t find much better. We share an unbreakable bond otherwise known as the Soul Sister Trifecta; constantly a source of inspiration, a sense of stability and a few (read: countless) laughs shared along the way. I am proud to be your big sister. Ever impressed by the size of your hearts, you remind me to be a little less jaded in a world often filled with uncertainty and I thank you for that.

And to where it all started.

Countless nights spent in hockey arenas, weekends spent at baseball tournaments, birthdays, graduations, heartbreak and excitement are only a sliver of what our parents have supported us through. They are the foundation upon which we built our lives, a constant source of inspiration and direction, and we are very, very lucky. I’m sure we will never truly be able to repay our parents but we promise to pay it forward. We promise to do our best, to exceed your expectations and to always make you proud; for without you, we would not be us. Jodi and Andy, thank you for finding a place in your heart for me and for letting me love your son, I won't let you down. Muz and Dad, thank you, for everything. Thank you for giving me my roots and my wings. Thank you for your undying support in all of my (many) endeavors. Thank you for welcoming Brandon into our family and for building a home that radiated warmth and security. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and for the hard lessons. You mean everything are not quite words enough to fully encompass what you are to me.

And Brandon, I have loved you since I saw you. I am so very fortunate to have you as my companion and partner as we enter this next chapter of our lives.

So, because we don’t say it enough, to all of our wonderful friends and family, thank you. Thank you, thank you. We are eternally grateful to have you in our lives, to have your support, to be who we are because of you.

We love you, and don’t forget it.

It might be too late to mention this, but you might need a Kleenex.

 

This time, it’s sink or swim but the water has always been our friend ;)

LifestyleSamantha MacKinnon