The holidays can be very hard for those who have lost family and loved ones. I never really understood that until I lost my parents. Last year was the first year that I did not go to my parents house for Thanksgiving or Christmas. And it was awful for several reasons. It was the first holidays without Mom. Thanksgiving was bearable, as the almost in-laws invited over for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. They even left a spot for Mom at the table, which was so lovely and thoughtful.
For Christmas, the ex and I had planned to go to his Huge family celebration and get out of the house for his festive family celebration. Then Dad had a very bad fall and was in rehab almost the entire month and all of Christmas. So the trip had to be cancelled.
Christmas was picking Dad up from the rehab center, having my sister get him that night, and spending Christmas Eve, just the Ex and I, exhausted, emotionally wary and worn out, and just sad. The next day was going to get Dad, opening all the presents, cooking the Christmas dinner then dropping him off at rehab again. I am sure it was the worst Christmas for the Ex as well.
New Years Eve…Dad got out of rehab and was still a bit unsteady on his feet. He was ready to come home, but that also meant us watching over his to make sure that he did not fall. We could not go out at all since he was so unsteady. That night was spent at a neighbors house who we hardly knew, making small talk with people -again pretty miserable, especially in deep contrast to the year before when I had had the best NYE ever.
This year, after the loss of both my parents, I am determined to have a better holiday season than last. It will be better, damnit. But how? I don’t know exactly yet, but I do know that my attitude will have a lot to do with it. I am meeting with my grief counselor next week, and we are making out a plan. It may not be the best holiday season, but it will not be the worst, not by a long shot. And it starts today.
My mother used to remind me that no one has time for a pity party, except for the one throwing it. She and I both hate people who just sit around moping. So I am starting the season of Thanks early. Gratitude is everything, and I will have it in spades this year. I will bring love, thanks and gratitude to me. I will be a magnet for it.
In this spirit, I will give thanks for something every day. Starting today. Today I am thankful for this wonderful house that I live in. It is in a wonderful area called East Cobb where the neighbors are friendly and there are lots of little places to eat and explore and see. I have many friends in the area and will be seeing them regularly. The house is just what is needed, big enough for all the stuff, but not too bug to be ridiculous. It will be happy and full of life and laughter.
There is a beautiful deck and back yard for sitting and having a morning cup of coffee, or outside meals, or grilling with friends. There are places to plant flowers and little herb gardens in the spring. And plenty of places for my 50+ plants.
It will be a good home, a happy home, a home for me to build a fabulous life, where my dreams will come true.
And today, that is why I am thankful.