In case you didn't catch it before, I love Thanksgiving. It's not about the food for me. It's about the low pressure of the holiday and getting to have a lot of my family here and visit with them. This year we were preparing for a smaller holiday. I must admit I was kind of feeling a little sad but thought I guess it is just proof that things really are changing. Yesterday I learned we would be joined by my sister and her boys. Today friends of theirs too! I am excited! It will remind me of how special Holidays felt when I was a kid. I was always so excited to have a house full of people I loved.
When I am surrounded by people I am less likely to reflect on those who aren't there. The people who we have lost over the years. There is my dad who I spent more Thanksgivings apart from then with. There is Tim who I can't help but think of every Thanksgiving, remembering his humble prayer the Thanksgiving right after September 11, 2001. "God let us be grateful for our table that is so full, when there are so many that are empty today." In case you didn't catch it he meant with so many missing a loved one. My dear Grammy, who would be so excited to see her family all together. She personally would be on the phone this week appealing to those who had other plans. I love the way she would get all dressed up and then cook. Her stories though always the same never got old. Even my crazy old Uncle Chuck who passed this year. Although his life wasn't perfect we shared a lot holidays together and I can muster a few good times with him. My grandfather who was always just quietly there with us.
Kira who is still living but has left possibly the largest hole in my heart. She is so close by and I can't see her. That is harder than grief after a death.
All these folks have left empty spaces in our hearts and at our table.
I think it is why I am working so hard to try and get us back together this holiday season. I know one day someone else is going to be missing. It is after all the cycle of life. Even my siblings and I will perish and our children will be left hopefully maintaining our traditions and living life together.
I just want to enjoy the time I get with all my siblings and their families.
Sometimes all the grief is a blessing, it helps me to remember what is important now.