The New Thanksgiving

This year is the year of the new Thanksgiving.  For me it is a time to find myself and the balance between honoring the old and making the new.  It is the acceptance that while the holidays of my childhood are gone, this is the time to honor and find myself.  It is a time to be with love 0 love of my family that remains, love of my wonderful friends, love of my life and love of the future.

This year, while strange and new, also shows me how much I have to be thankful for.  I am thankful to have had my parents for 43 wonderful holiday seasons.  I am thankful for the wonderful memories they created and the magic that was Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I am thankful that they loved me enough for a lifetime.

I am thankful for the family that I have.  Thankful for the love and family and friends during this time. I am thankful for the people i have met this year who will no doubt be a part of my life for many years to come.  I am thankful for all of the love and kindness.  I am thankful that I dodged a bullet and did not end up with my ex. I am thankful to be able to give and express love, to be able to accept love from others.  I am excited to be smarter, but not jaded after this past year.  And I am thankful for the smiles and laughter I have and will have.  I am thankful for my beautiful home that is safe and warm.  Thankful for an incredible career that I love, thankful for all that is in my heart.

This is a new Thanksgiving.  The circle is almost complete, and soon, another year will be done.  And a new year will start. And I will raise my glass, love my people and live life to the fullest.

Love in the 50th Year

The were married 50 years ago today, in a small town on Florida town. I usually had to remind them what day it was.  They always got a kick out of finding out.  They loved each other so much.

Their anniversary was always the start of the holiday season and the start of everything happy and festive.  This year is different.  It is the first holiday season without them.  It is the first year that I am alone.  Except that I am not alone.

I have so much love surrounding me this holiday season that it is magic.  While this holiday season will have it’s melancholy moments, and there is no way to escape that, it will also be better than I thought it would.  There is love everywhere I look.  I cannot go back to the way the holidays were, but I can move forward and celebrate the new life I have and am making in front of me. I can let my friends and love ones hold me in those sad moments, barrow their love and strength.  And I can smile and laugh through tears.

Mom and Dad, I love you and miss you every day, so very much.  But you raised me to be strong and get on with life.  You raised me to make you proud, you raised me to rise.  Happy 50th anniversary, to the best parents in the world. I was so blessed to have you as my parents, to you have you as examples of how love should be.  To have parents who loved me enough for a lifetime.

Magical Navarre

There are times when we all must get away, administer some self care and have some fun. For me it was needed especially before the holidays.  It was a spontaneous trip, but one that sounded wonderful – Navarre beach in the cool weather.

And indeed it was.  The weather was perfect, warm during the day and, cool at night.  There was quiet time walking on the beach at night, wading in the cool water, chasing the waves and watching the tide roll in.  The waves crashing on the shore is one of my favorite sounds in the world.  It is bliss.

The beach is bliss, at least to me.  A place to recharge and find adventure. Between the waves, the sand, the food, the drinks, the hot tubs and the bliss, the beach is perfect.

When we are in our favorite places to recharge, it seems that that is were the magic happens. Maybe because we are open and care free, maybe because we are taking the time to really listen to ourselves and appreciate life. Maybe because we feel safe.

And sure enough, that was the case with me. And something else magic happened as well.  My parent’s 50th wedding anniversary is today, they were married November 21, 1967 In Jasper, Florida.  While I was the Beach I wrote a letter to them, on a small piece of paper the waitress gave me. I wrote the letter right after lunch, and my eyes misted as the words formed on the paper. The letter was short, but sweet and heartfelt. And for the first time I let someone else read it, the message to my beautiful parents. I let my vulnerability show and gently gave the sheet of paper to another hand,  for another set of eyes to read and another heart to feel.

And then it was time to go into the water.  The water was at first cold on my feet, but I quickly acclimated and soon it felt wonderful.  It was cleansing in a way it had not been before.  The waves were big and the tide was strong as I swam.  I had, the letter in my hand and by the time I looked down, part of it was already gone; the angels on the tide anxious to give it my my parents.  And so I swam a bit more, chose a wave, and released the remaining part of the letter and smiled.  I knew my parents were there, smiling with me, holding hands in the mist of the sea, gently caressing my cheeks and the waves washed away the grime and sadness of the months prior. To let go and let be, to mentally prepare for the last celebrations of the year, and the coming of all that is next.

It was magic.

And the rest of the weekend was spent in quiet calm, in smiles and laughter, in appreciation and in fun.  The food was good, the drinks were cold, the music was festive, the beach was wonderful.  I came back simultaneously tired and invigorated, ready to start the holiday season, keeping what is important close to my heart.  The magic of the beach is exactly what was needed.

Oh Navarre beach, I will return to you soon, you magical place.