Which has been my favorite holiday (if one can have two favorites, because Halloween is also top o’ my list).
Thanksgiving was also Dana’s favorite holiday, and we looked forward to it, always. When we were hungry kids, then as adults who enjoy cooking and feeding our tribes, seeing everyone happy and running around.
Thanksgiving is now something that I can’t directly focus on because of the keen pain of Dana not being here – I totally lose it every time I think square-on of the nowness of “now” – I can only glance at it in the peripheral vision within the corners of my mind.
So this post isn’t about that.
It’s about the other part of it, the “thanks” part of “Thanksgiving” and the two biggest kernels of truth I’ve gleaned from both the divorce and from Dana’s passing.
The first: the preciousness of a moment
People say that our moments are precious all the time – it almost feels like a cliche. And what do they go right on and do? Yeah. Waste time all over the place. I’m not talking about SPENDING time doing fun stuff – that’s never a waste.
I’m talking about wasting time by NOT doing the things you want to do.
Or thinking you can do them later.
The slippery “later” that never comes and that you will certainly be looking back at with longing when the door has closed and the chance to reach it is over. The slippery “later” is joined right there with “can’t” and “should” and “want, but…”.
You know what? They are all excuses for fear or whatever. Just excuses. And it’s not to say the fear isn’t real or the reasons that the excuses represent invalid, but I can tell you this: they can be worked through. And if you don’t and that person dies, you are absolutely going to regret it.
The second: the preciousness of relationships
Dana’s passing and the divorce have made the clarity and strength of my love for my kids plain for me to feel and see. It’s as if all the bullshit that life can bring with it has been washed away and I just see my kids and how much I love them and how grateful I am to be their mother.
I think that’s a gift.
I loved my kids before all this, but I see now what a priority they are for me. I see now that everything else in life can be just distractions, business, entertainment, details – and that all of that is going to fall away, and I’ll be left with the relationships that I’ve formed and made in my life. None are so close as my relationship with my kids.
I’m not ready for Thanksgiving as a holiday with family and feasting – or rather, with my own family and feasting. I’m happy (and grateful) to be a “stray” this year. But I do appreciate the moment, as always, to reflect about the “thanks” part – and think about what I’m thankful for in terms of learning and clarity.
I still feel kind of of shellshocked about the past year.
It will be ‘never’ before I get over losing my brother, because he was such a part of my heart and my sense of being safe and secure and having someone there for me. The implosion of my marriage has left me raw, but I am grateful for the clarity of not being gaslight anymore, for the honesty, for new chances and fresh starts. I will heal from this and I will be a better and stronger person for having gone through this.
In the meantime, I’m taking a lot of deep breaths over here, and letting my love for my kids empower me to be strong and stable for them.
You help me, with all the love that you send me through this community that has come from this blog, and with social media, and I am so deeply thankful for that, for you. I want you to know that.
Happy thanksgiving xoxo