Thanksgiving. It’s a time of year where families gather round their tables to eat a big feast of turkey, ham, yams, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, apple pie, pumpkin pie, or whatever family tradition yours might have. But before you eat, many families will go around the table and say what they are thankful for over the past year.
Five years ago on this very day I remember how hard it was for me on that first Thanksgiving with Mari gone. (Click here to view the post from that year.) I didn’t want to go over to my husband‘s mom and dad’s house with all of his brothers and sisters there with their husbands and children. I knew they’d want to do the tradition of saying what they were thankful for and to be blunt, I didn’t want to hear them. The grief I felt over losing my daughter was so acute that I could find anything to be thankful for. I felt like if I was thankful then I was saying I was happy she was gone. She’d only been gone a little over 4 months by this point and what would have been her 9th birthday a little over a month away. I missed her so much and didn’t know when, if ever, the pain would lesson and my thoughts not feeling like they were on the loss twenty-four/seven. The family understood and because they would rather have us there they didn’t do this beloved family tradition. We simply ate and talked about anything but the obvious, our little Mari not being there.
I can look back realize just how lost I felt and lonely. I couldn’t see the light that was ahead. I ached for the longing to see her again. Yet, I made it through. God gave me the much-needed strength to make it. For this, I am so thankful this year to see what I’ve come over the past five plus years. To know first hand that the pain, while still there, is bearable, most of the time, and that I am actually okay. I can see the positives and can finally be more than just grateful but so very thankful for the blessing in my life.
I‘m married to the love of my life for almost 20 years. We are raising our beautiful niece who we plan to adopt when the time is right. I have my writing and know because of it being confirmed time and time again that my words can touch people, can resonate with them. We have little health problems. My husband is in the Army and receives a steady paycheck. We have a home that is big enough for all our stuff (which trust me, after twenty years you acquire quite a bit LOL). I could go on, but you can see what I mean.
In the end, even through the greatest tragedy of my life, there is so much to be thankful for. Please share with us what you are thankful for this year. Have you had a good year?