Sunday, November 27, 2011

Giving thanks

It's Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.  It really was quite an eventful few days starting with Sarah coming in Wednesday and ending with Sarah flying home this afternoon.

In between we saw a local community play, celebrated Thanksmas with my side of the family,  hung out at Karma, showed our apartment in Newburgh and cleaned the house.  I don't take part in any Black Friday activities, so I saved my shopping for this week.  Even without hitting a store, we had plenty of things to do and it was jammed with fun.

Most notably this week was Thanksgiving Day, of course.  In our family, we are traditionally guests of other people's TG spread.  Over the past few years, we've traveled to Dawn and Sean's for an early dinner and then moved to Patti and Stuart's for dinner later in the evening. 

This year was a little different... Dawn and Sean had quite the eventful few months themselves.  They were hit by the flooding from hurricane Irene and lost their home back in September.  Coincidentally, they had already been looking at a new home and quickly closed on it and moved in. Happily, we sat in there new dining room eating the turkey Dawn cooked in her beautiful new kitchen!!!  A true reason to be thankful.

As I sat and ate next to my sister, I mentioned missing Mom this week.  This was the first holiday without her.  I saw a picture of her with my nephew Ben during the week and the emotions just flowed out of me.  I remembered picking her up and traveling through the county to get there for dinner and talking about anything and everything.  While it wasn't easy the last few years, she was still Mom - all laughs and love.  We missed her as we talked about the rutabaga Donna couldn't cook this year. 

My memories of last year flooded in a few times too.  I sat there eating and remembering what it was like last year.  Last year, I walked in knowing that I had breast cancer.  We didn't tell anyone and we tried to act normally.   I think we were successful although it felt like we walked with a cloud over our head and everyone could see it.  Either way, it was a very strange feeling. 

This year was entirely different.  We sat around the new table at the Ackerman's and ate and talked and laughed.  Reminisced of years past and were grateful for where we were today.

We moved on that day to Patti's.  Again, no one knew.  The four of us sat at a table in the back with just a few others.  It's like we were holding each other up because we were the only ones that knew our secret.  Bob shared with Patti that day.  Her mother-in-law Deena noticed our different behavior and asking about it.  This year I talked about my year and my journey to the family and friends that were there.  I was grateful that it was just part of my past now.

That night we drove home - me, Bob and Sarah.  Last year, Alex was going to celebrate Thanksgiving with Melissa's family but at the last minute because of the diagnosis, he changed his plans to be home with us.  This year, he made it the Clark's for the holiday - as much as I missed him, I'm thankful he was able to keep his plans. 

Life has gone on... I'm thankful for the gift of life.

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