I love Thanksgiving.
We have spent Christmas, away from family, in warmer climates, for the past 8 years. So, Thanksgiving is the one big event every year where we gather together with my brother and his wife, his daughters and their partners, and their adorable granddaughters. Then, just in case we’re not grateful enough, we get to have a second joyous gathering with our daughter, her husband, and our wonderful grandchildren. I always feel so filled up with love after these special times. It marks the beginning of our winter season, as we begin the process of packing to move to our other home in Mexico at the end of October every year.
As for many, this year is very different, as we cannot risk exposing ourselves to all those children.
We have not even seen our nieces nor our grandnieces once this year, and have only seen our daughter and her family twice.
They all have busy lives, and are exposed to many other people through school and work. However, my darling husband is cooking a turkey with all the trimmings for me and two close friends who are in our bubble. It will be different but joyous!
The second reason that I have always loved Thanksgiving is that my firstborn son was born right after a big Thanksgiving dinner.
I was lying on the couch talking to my dad, and I said my stomache was hurting. “ I think I ate too much.” (me) “I think you’re in labour.” (Dad) He knew, having been through it 4 times with my mom. Sure enough, he was right, and 6 hours later my beautiful boy, Christopher William Thomas came into the world.
So, the two events are forever wrapped together.
As Chris was growing up, we celebrated his birthday and Thanksgiving together. He was a deeply loved child, with Thanksgibing/birthday parties always at Grandma Forsyth’s, my maternal grandmother. As our family grew, the dinners moved downstairs to her basement, where she would often seat upwards of 30 people. Grandma and her sister, Aunt Eleanor would serve up the entire dinner on their own, with turkey, stuffing, gravy, smashed potatoes as grandma liked to call them, salads, and always two different types of jello salad.
I miss those days of family closeness, and tears are rolling down my face as I write this.
Mom and Dad, Grandma, Aunt Eleanor and Chris have all gone to heaven, and my own family has shrunken. But, I have always felt embraced by Bryce’s beautiful daughter April and my brother Ian’s families. It is hard to not be with them today, but we will make the day special in its own way.
One of the big lessons I have learned is to let go of the past in order to be fully present and enjoy the present.
I am indeed richly blessed!
Yesterday was Chris’s 48th birthday.
I started the day by going to his tree, a beautiful chestnut that is in the trail behind our house. I then went for a run along the beach, and felt his spirit with me, through me, in me. I was so full of joy as I thought about him and how much I love him. He was 32 years old when he left his physical body, getting hit by a car one dark and stormy April night 15 ½ years ago. I miss him every day. But today, I mostly think of him in joy and gratitude instead of sorrow.
I do hope that this Thanksgiving brings you much joy and gratitude, whether you are celebrating with family, or having to keep your celebration small.
I do hope that you are able to celebrate all that you have rather than mourn for what you have lost. I am sending you buckets of love and wishes for a bountiful year.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!