Today has historically been one of my favorite holidays (along with Valentine’s Day). It is a day to give thanks for friends, family, and health. It is a day to spend time with the ones you love and reflect on all that we have to be thankful for.
This year is just different. It’s so hard for me to wake up on this Thanksgiving day knowing I won’t be spending it with one of the people I am most thankful for.
Last year, my Dad taught me how to stuff and make a turkey. I have such vivid memories of that morning – showing up to my parents house with a half frozen bird and laughing with Dad because he knew how out of my depth I was trying to host Thanksgiving that year. Although only having my in-laws over, I was determined to make my own turkey and Dad just said “come Thanksgiving morning and we will do it together” – fully knowing he would end up doing all of the work 🙂
I remember laughing, like crying laughing, and totally enjoying the fact that it was just him and me. With the craziness of a growing family, these alone times were few and far between and I just remember soaking it in all while pretending to listen to each of his instructions.
Unfortunately, I don’t remember one thing he taught me about the turkey because in the back of my brain I figured if I needed to do another one……..Dad would help.
This day is hard. It is sad. My heart aches for my Dad. Our first holiday without him.
Although my heart aches for my Dad, it is comforting being around my family. I am hoping to start a new tradition this year by having everyone over to my house for breakfast (or carb load – Emma :)). It’s comforting to be around them because although my Dad isn’t physically here, each one of them reminds me so much of him that I feel closer by just having them around.
Mom. I feel closer to my Dad just being around my Mom. She was the one person he loved most. Although they are so different in a lot of ways, they grew up together so seeing and being with her just makes me feel closer to him. I wonder some times if he’s with me. I KNOW he’s with her.
Mimi has always been strong in faith like my Dad. Always volunteering with her church and attending mass regularly. I’ve looked up to her that way as it’s a good reminder that Dad would want us to do the same.
Carolyn was my dad’s buddy. She loves the same things he loves – fishing, fixing things, Longboat Key’s sunset, breakfast club, being a left-y, etc. She is ride or die family like Dad.
Danny, physically reminds me of Dad. His build is similar, great hugs, and has the same talent to make anyone in a room feel welcome and comfortable.
Zack has the same love for kids. He would much rather be playing and chatting with them than any adult and wins them over instantly.
Jordan reminds me so much of Dad in his ability to make us all laugh (which is so important in times like these). He has a very serious side but “vacation Jordan” reminds me SO much of “vacation Dad”. Like nothing else matters in the world than being in Longboat, having cocktails in your Tervis, and being with each other.
SO – for all of those that have lost “their person”, their universe, their person who stuffed their turkey or hosted Thanskgiving – I’m thinking of you.
Not trying to offer words of encouragement today but acknowledging that today is just hard and I hope you are surrounded by people that make you feel closer to the one you lost.
And that’s okay.