Thanksgiving is a holiday I enjoy, but it does put me in a pensive mood the last few years. If I think back to 2001 and 2002, the memories are not happy because of all the upheaval in my life during that time. If I think back further, most of what I remember is the stress of the other people in my life not understanding what I believe to be the true meaning of the holiday.
For me, it IS a time to pause in the everyday hubbub of life and reflect on the blessings that I have. It is also a time to celebrate friends and family and be thankful for them, warts and all. It’s funny, but in my starter marriage the best Thanksgivings were the earliest ones, when we were living hundreds of miles from family and too broke to go visit. We’d gather with our friends in the same situation and enjoy the brief respite from Life, with good food and good company.
Later Thanksgiving just because a source of stress because either we had to travel to spend it with in-laws (ugh) or no one else in my family cared like I did. The Ex kept suggesting we just go out for a Thanksgiving dinner, but that has always felt wrong. To me, it’s the one meal of the year that should be a family meal, an at-home (at least at SOMEONE’S home) meal.
The worst one, though, was four years ago, sitting alone in a cold house in the midst of battling severe depression. I was invited to my sister’s house, but couldn’t bear to go and be with so many people, many of them all but strangers, at that point. Randy was expected at his father’s, and I wasn’t about to stop him and cause more problems. I couldn’t just let the day go by, though — I made myself fix a traditional dinner of sorts and tried as best as I was capable to enjoy it. Pathetic? Yes, I suppose it was. But it was the best I could do.
Today I have so much more to be thankful for than I dreamed possible on that sad day. Now, after all that, Life is Good.