This Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, of course. And in that sense, I am very thankful for my friends. They have been my heart, soul, strength and more. It has been a tough year, but you they managed to keep me smiling, laughing, breathing, moving, and being. I could not have made it through without them. For everything, all the little (and not so little) things they have done for me that no one knows about, all the conversations, all the hugs, all the support, all the loyalty, all the LOVE. I made it because I stand on the shoulders of giants and angels. They mean the world to me.
Through all of the hard times, heart breaks, break ups, funerals, services, clean ups, break downs, cry fests, confusion, all of it, they were there.
Be a lamp, or a life boat, or a ladder. Help Someone’s soul heal. – Rumi
Life events happen sometimes that cause us to completely redefine not only who we are, but our life as well. And when those events happen, it is almost like learning to walk again. things that seemed so basic before, not must be relearned. New paths in the brain must be made. We must learn what that “new” looks like, and feels like. We must get comfortable in our new clothes, so to speak, and learn to wear this new life, rather than it wearing us.
And this Thanksgiving it is also about new traditions. I cancelled my travels to make sure that I am home for certain things. Funny how priorities can shift in a heartbeat. Tonight friends are coming over for the first annual Thanksgiving Taco Dinner – a new tradition for the night before the big feast. Everyone loves tacos. They are easy to fix, fun to eat, and a breeze to clean up.
Heading over to a wonderful friend’s house for the day for Thanksgiving. Catching up with my girlfriends, laughing, crying and reflecting about the year. And maybe a glass of wine or five. Lot’s of food and good stuff.
But the other new holiday tradition, is having time for myself. I need to get my house in order, get a few things organized. Hanging some pictures, finish some unpacking, making sure that I am OK for the next leg of this adventure called life. Taking some time to breath and be solid. Going to church, praying, and reading.
I love my life, as I have fought hard to get here. Now I must make sure that I am capable and worthy of the life that I have been given. And to celebrate with the wonderful people who are in my life as well.
I am surrounded by love, more love than I knew was even out there. I have found my roots in the love and loyalty of my friends. My parents taught me how to be discerning in who is in your life and why. A lesson that has served me well after they’ve been gone. They knew that one day they would go from being my roots, to being the foundation upon which I build the rest of my life afterward. And I know that they are with me, even as I miss them so much.
To be honest, not much could be worse than last Thanksgiving. The first holiday without Mom. I was depressed and grieving, as was Dad. My relationship with my now ex was falling apart, even as I desperately tried to hang on. My Almost-in-laws were wonderful though, even setting a place for my mother at their dinner table, so we would feel like she was with us. The weekend was filled with sadness, grief, strive, arguing and being overwhelmed. It was the end of the beginning in so many ways. That was when I realized that I was truly alone. And it terrified me.
What a difference a year makes. Even though both of my parents are gone, even though that relationship is long since over, I am less alone now, and more surrounded by love, than I was at this time last year. I am blessed. So raise a glass to This Thanksgiving. It will be a first, but not the last, of it’s kind.