Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s all about family spending time together around a meal. I was raised with family dinners and am sometimes fighting to maintain them in my own household. Now that we are usually down to three, we usually only set the dinner table on Sunday.
This is the first holiday without a parent for me. My husband and I talked through how this might be our smallest Thanksgiving with just the four of us around the table. Last year his parent’s were visiting. The year before I brought mom over to the house. We counted back through the years. For nearly two decades, we have hosted Thanksgiving at our house and my parent’s joined us.
It was just five years ago that we realized how unsafe it was that my parent’s were still driving. When mom and dad had not shown up when expected, we started to call their home and their mobile. Eventually, we get a call from a gentleman two neighborhoods over who said my parents were on their way. When they don’t show up, we wait another 45 minutes until I get a call from my dad from a pay phone. They are now about 15 miles away and have no idea where they are. I tell him to stay and I drive to them so they can find their way to my house.
Two-hours later than we were planning on eating, we finally sit down to enjoy the meal. However, I was so upset and worried, that I could barely eat. My parent’s are agitated after being so lost and are really unsure about what happened. Not a word about it is mentioned at the table. How I don’t miss those uncomfortable days one bit.
How I do miss having my parents join us for Thanksgiving. A time to relax with loved ones around a great meal to share our appreciation for each other.
Many have shared with me how the holidays the first year are the most difficult. I didn’t notice it as much with dad because I was so worried about mom dealing with those holidays. Now I clearly recognized the void.
I am most thankful that I had such wonderful parents and had the opportunity to help them lead a life with dignity until the end. I will spend my time with a hanky and mourn their loss. But I will work to count all the blessings we have and enjoy the time with my husband and kids. Thankful.
As I look at the room around me, I see my parents are here with us. The room is filled with furniture from their home, pictures my mom framed or painted, or things I bought with them at one of the many auctions we went to together. Blessed.