I hope you're having a wonderful Thanksgiving!
For many this is a time to gather with family and friends. For others, it's more complicated, or this season is a difficult one. Or maybe it's a little of all of that.
Some of those dear to me have taken hard hits this year. If you're reading this and you're one of them, you know who you are, and that we are praying for you very often.
Some folks get to be with loved ones just now, and for others it's a hard time, or a time to decide how to make the most of time alone.
I've had some of all of those before, so this season is filled with mixed feelings. I lost some precious friends and clients in this past year's cycle, some to old age and some to illness. My heart is heavier and it is richer. It's easy to say that, but I'd just as soon have those dear ones back again.
There are times I remember from long ago, from childhood, from my first marriage, from days being a single mother. What a hodge podge of memories and emotions those bring! I feel replete with the memories of times I never knew back then would mean so much later. I feel a sense of loss at changes that have happened through the years, too, sometimes. Even though I'd like to grab some of those moments again to savor, I wouldn't wish to travel back again to stay. If there is anyone out there who can truly say they don't have any regrets, I kind of wonder if they're very invested in the "examined life" at all...I've learned from my regrets and I still find it hard to always balance the different people and areas of my life correctly and meaningfully...meaning being fully in the moment and attentive to all those I love, while still able to juggle "outside" demands (job, etc) and the fact I'm so much slower physically with this knee situation.
I'm not melancholy just now, but I am both happy and sad, and very very grateful. I've been told my dear friend, who used to be my client for the better part of the past two years and now lives with family out of state, has declined to the point hospice has been called in. Walking up and down the aisles at the store the past few days for this and that surprised me with unexpected tears and happiness both. So many things remind me of my loved ones recently departed, or of my grand lady who may soon join them.
I want to continue to be a better wife, mother, friend, and not miss a single second that might otherwise slip by. A set of circumstances is keeping me from having Thanksgiving with my daughter, and I really miss her. She is growing and maturing so fast, and I'm so proud of her. I also want her to always feel a rich sense of home and place and sometimes I try to balance my nurturing genes with letting her call the shots...I can remember enjoying my independence at that age.
I don't "have a village"...no parents in my life, our old ones already gone, and more than a decade of my prior marriage invested in those in-laws, only to be lost to me after the divorce, something I never saw coming. We have a very dear circle of friends about an hour away from here, and they are the family we have all made from scratch, the wonderful way God does when he brings like-minded people together as kindred spirits. They are precious kindred spirits who love God and encourage us in Him so often, and we are so grateful. And I will always always have the golden few from the past, my can-count-on-one-hand friends far away who have been there through thick and thin, my laughing and commisserating and sometimes crying buddies. And my dear dear friends I know through this crazy medium of the internet, and truly love. The internet without which I would never have met my best of all friends, my beloved Jack, to whom I've been married now for over 9 years, and grateful for every day!
For Kim...I miss you so much. The space you filled here is not being filled by anyone else. Your generosity is still giving, somehow, even though you're gone. I have nothing but happiness thinking of your wit and quick humor and intelligence and how you met the real person in whomever you saw, not preoccupied with appearances. You embraced beautiful things and you worked to make people feel loved. Your mother is wonderful and I'm so happy to know her through you. I feel so very ripped off that you're gone at such a young age. We were supposed to have so many years to see both sets of our girls grow up and see how our own stories "turned out."
For Miss Dottie...I miss you, too. I can hear the phrases you used all the time, in all kinds of situations, and I just cackle with joy! You are a piece of work, and you know it. I know you had a long life and you lived it your way. You also noticed people, remembered the names of their children and even their pets and always asked for updates. You remembered to thank people, you raided the sales aisles, especially the candy aisles, to take candy to your favorite medical folks the more you had to go to the doctor for this and that. You never forgot to thank anyone with a little box of candy, especially those dang bags and bags and bags of Caramel or Chocolate or Butter Rum "Nips" we toted all over creation, ha! I miss you bossing me around as I tried to navigate your huge van into little parking spaces or cut across three lanes of traffic in rush hour. I miss your delight in plotting new things to see or places to try (especially to eat out, you loved that). And how you always were opinionated about particular sports figures, either loving or hating them, and knowing every gossip rag report about their private lives...ha! I can NOT watch any golf with Tiger Woods playing without hearing your voice saying "MISS...MISS the ball!" And you certainly made election year the most commented-on and memorable one of my experience, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I could go on and on, but it's not the same with you gone. I'm only glad you're out of pain, that's the only thing I'm glad about in it all.
For Miss J...I'm not ready for you to go, even though you say you are. I can't even find the words to type why right now, because I'm not going to cry all over my keyboard. But I did cry at Sam's club when I saw chocolate covered pretzels and remembered how you love those so much you tuck them down into the side pockets of your recliner till they pooch out like chipmunk cheeks. Even when you didn't feel up to eating much of anything, you'd nibble chocolate and have a moment of bliss :) I can't think of old hymns without thinking of you. And so many other things. I'm stopping now. But I won't stop remembering, ever. I miss your face and and grateful for every moment to talk by phone now that the days are numbered. They always were, but...well anyway.
For my daughter...I love you. You will make it through the roughest of spots because God has a special purpose for your life. We don't get perfect lives and you've had disappointments. That's part of life a mom can't change for her daughter even though I sure wish we could. We've had to patch together a family that's not as big and extended as we had in the past, and we feel that sense of loss. But we have each other, and that's more than a lot of people ever get. We have today and hopefully a lifetime of more todays to make family through determination, loyalty, and our wonderful Father's help. I have a wonderful husband who loves being your stepfather. You are rare and precious and FUN :) I would not have anyone else as my daughter but you, and I'm so glad God chose you to be mine. I'm going to work harder so we make the most of our time, even though you're all grown up and busy and sometimes we simply have to steal some hours together. I enjoy every one of them. There will always be plenty of things to continue working on with ourselves and areas to improve. Be gentle with yourself and kind with others. When things get down, look around and see the people no one else wants to see, and you'll never be lonely. You have all the stuff of a great friend. I'm praying for God to surround you with firm friendships and one day a husband who is hand-picked just for you. You know if He can do that for me, He can for you, too. Did I mention I love you? Psalm 139 is your psalm.
So...I believe it's time to finish up the few lagging Thanksgiving dishes that had to wait till the last minute. The house smells wonderful. And that sink full of dishes?
I'm grateful for them! They mean there was wonderful food to cook!
We did not know if we would have money to buy Thanksgiving special ingredients, but on THE day we needed it, we got just the right (modest) amount back from the mortgage company from what was left of the escrow after their paying the yearly property taxes. God is my beloved Father, and whatever lack I might feel from wishing I had blood relatives like the Norman Rockwell pictures always show, I have no complaints in the God department. He has always been there, always been kind, and always kept me from being drowned by circumstance. TRULY my deliverer.
Loving God, my husband, my daughter, my sweet friends near and far, including my internet friends here (you!) and loving having a day when we remember to give thanks in a big way, even though we daily give thanks as well.
I hope your Thanksgiving is the best possible!
With much love from our household to yours,
Robbyn and Jack <3 comment-3--="">3>