Everyone right now is blogging about Thanksgiving. So I must include myself into that lump of people. Actually, it's a great thing to talk about year round, but of course, this is a typical time for it to shine through.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember. I love the colors and the smells. I love that everyone truly seems to have grateful hearts. I love that busyness doesn't consume this day. I love the football and the harvest season and the aspect of why we celebrate this day and what comes with it. It is the holiday that is so often overlooked, as many people are already into the Christmas mode. I will not put on the music or decorate until after Thanksgiving has been noted. We try to keep lists of what we are thankful for year round, but especially at this time of year, we are noting things in our household. The kids love this day, too.
This Thanksgiving is really different. Amonth ago, I was saying how much I just wish we could skip over it. NOt having my mom this first time is like the elephant in the room. Everyone will know it and feel it but....who knows how this will really go. My grief has moved along a lot in a months time. I can't say I'm loving this holiday as much as I usually do, but I am not dreading it. It is painful . And there will be some tears, I am sure. But all I can do is keep moving through it all. It's going to happen, whether I want it to or not. And so I will try to make the best of it. Thanksgving will be at Dad's. Being there is a place of real peace for me, so I think that it will be good to have it there. I think it will be hard, too. It's just going to be different. LIfe is different, and there's no denying there. There is a void there that remains with mom gone. But don't worry, I am getting to some of the things for which I am thankful...I just have to get through the grief parts of this holiday too.
It's funny, as much as grief can be consuming at times, life keeps moving, and I have to use the experience to grow me as God has intended. I'd like to deny that at times, but lately evidence of how life keeps going has been screaming in bold letters at me. You see, my entire family is going through some enormous changes, but most of them are all exciting and good. Evidence of life going on.... we are buying a house! My sister and her husband have accepted a job as head pastor 2 hours south of here, so they are working on moving by the end of December; my older brother is home again, which is a huge blessing!; and my younger brother is getting married and he is also going to be deploying to Afghanistan in January. Life keeps going... Good changes. But a lot of changes to be happening at one time. I have thought of mom so much through all these things transpiring. How she'd quietly be at the center of most of it....supporting Tim and praying for him; helping Becky and me both pack our houses and help with the kids in the midst of the chaos; how she'd likely be playing games with Steve. It's bittersweet, experiencing these good times without her. But it is also a beautiful picture of how God moves. A year ago, I wanted nothing to do with buying a house. Now I am excited! I miss mom. This time of year is going to be full of memories and it will be hard to walk through them at times. But on this time of Thanksgiving, I want to say how grateful I am for all that mom taught me. All the laughs we shared. All the many memories I have with her. As I bake her sweet potato casserole for tomorrow, I can see her standing in the kitchen, cooking for hours for Thanksgving meals. I am so thankful that I have those to hold onto.
2011 has been one of the most difficult years I have ever had to walk through....but God is faithful and I am so very grateful for that. Words cannot even put into an appropriate picture all that He has loved me through. I am so thankful to have Him. I am thankful that true healing is unfolding.
I am thankful for my family. my husband my kids. my dad. my brother. my sister. my brother. We have sometimes a funny family dynamic, but we have a strong one. One I am grateful for.
I am thankful for my church. What a blessing they are all to me. Such a support system and a true second family.
I am thankful for my job. I could dedicate an entire blog to my job . I am so happy in it. I love my customers, who are quickly becoming some really good friends. I am really thankful for my co workers-a group of people I have bonded with in a neat way. I am thankful for a non stressful environment. I am thankful for my boss and his silly songs and crazy ways that make work a good environment. I am thankful for a consistent schedule.
I can go on and on, which is why this blog is part 1. Tomorrow I will blog again. I've had many of these things in mind lately, just making the time lately has been difficult. (Remember, we are buying a house, so working full time, packing, prepping, and all the crazy other things take time...) Until then, I will move through tomorrow not only one day at a time, but one hour at a time, because it will be a very bittersweet day. Happy Thanksgiving.