With this in mind, I lifted my bum from the chair and got to work. A little tidying around the house, oven warming, and hot water to do the last three days of dishes. What was I thinking? Three days plus Thanksgiving preparation dishes equals a counter of clean dishes now. I can't believe I am sharing how unmotivated I am to do these everyday tasks with all of you, but then again, one thing this blog has remained is honest. Who knows, maybe one of you can understand the funk I'm in and are thinking, "Phew, I'm not the only one who just can't get it together." If so, leave a note in a comment below.
I called and wished Dad, and some family, a Happy Thanksgiving and the emotion overwhelmed me. It is the first Thanksgiving without my Mom, but actually, it's my second. As I stood over the sink, I was lost in thought and remembered my first Thanksgiving away from home during my second year in college. Instead of sticking around CNY, I accepted an invitation to a friend's house who lived outside of New York City. We had a great week. It was a different feeling as I celebrated with her family. They welcomed me and shared their traditions with me.
While we didn't make it to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, a trip to the city was fun and eventful. Due to the fog, a trip to the Statue of Liberty wasn't possible, but at least this beautiful lady was in the backdrop of this photo. I remember my friend asking a stranger to take our picture. I was afraid they would run off with the camera, such a country girl thing to think. The people in the city were hospitable. My greatest trouble was not making eye contact and saying hello to those we passed because they meant I was a tourist. Too funny.
We watched the parade, helped with dinner, and enjoyed the day. I called home long distance and collect. For you youngers reading this, this was prior to cellular phones that fit in your back pocket, I don't think the big bag phones were even available. I learned a lot and had a great visit, but looked forward to following year's Thanksgiving because it felt weird not to be with family and I was a touch homesick. I was thankful to pick up the phone and call, at least I could hear their voice and talk to everyone as they passed the phone around at Gram's that year.
Today, as we all gather with our family and friends, let us remember that not everyone is in a house filled with people. During the moments of the day, when you think "When do I get to leave?" because the commotion, "discussions", and activity becomes overwhelming...remember there are some home alone or avoiding the holiday. Some choose the quiet because it's easier and others, have no one to join. We need only recognize that as individuals, we all need something different.
My observation, we don't need to force those alone on the holiday to join in, we merely need to extend invitations and respect their wishes. Everyone handles grief and loss differently. Each person will put one foot in front of the other during the first Thanksgiving, Christmas, or event without their loved in a different way.
I haven't had this void in my heart since the first Thanksgiving without Heidi, twenty-one years ago. Last year was the first time we spent Thanksgiving with my parents, as I look back, I'm so thankful we started that tradition. Memories to cherish. I honestly want to stay home and snuggle on the couch with a blank stare towards whatever mushy Christmas movie is playing BUT this won't do me, or the ones I love any good. So, the muffins are done and the corn pudding is slowly catching up. Now it's time for me and my heart to catch up. God is good and He knows what I need, one which is to write.
Some things I'm thankful for this morning:
*The after-school enrichment class I have the opportunity to teach. The kids desire to write and be creative is inspiring. Their energy contagious. Their hearts, pure and motivational.
*To wake up each day with breath in my lungs to experience another day
*For family and friends to love and be loved by
*For a career I love and never feels like work, it's an extension of family
*For running water, heat, and indoor plumbing
*For memories on the days that can be a challenge
*For my 2012 Thanksgiving blog that includes a video (click her to view) made my parents as a gift to me and you.
*That my husband is patient right now, because I should be doing my hair and getting dress instead of writing this blog while watching the parade. Teehee
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart exults,
And with my song I shall thank Him.