Last week came and went at some sort of lightening speed. Today brought the reminder of just how fast and furious it was as I can still feel the weary…and it was worth every bit of it.
Austin and Atlanta aren’t exactly close to each other. It has been years since I was in Georgia for Thanksgiving. It clearly had been years since I last saw fall. It cools off in Texas and our trees change, but our trees do not show off quite like the south (sorry beautiful northeast, I have yet to visit you when the temps drop). I was in awe and have to admit that the colors about made me giddy.
Thanksgiving came. It felt like the day we had all fought for. And a lot tried to fight against it. My niece was sick, therefore my sister didn’t make it for dinner. Sophia had us jumping up at 11pm to the sound of puke. Thank God, she was doing better and we were able to join my family for Thanksgiving dinner. We had driven a long way and selfish or not, I needed this day.
Why did we need Thanksgiving so bad this year?
It has been our hardest. It has been the incredibly sucky year of firsts without Caleb and the reminder of what isn’t and who isn’t there.
It hurts. It aches. It has tried really hard to take my family out this year.
Is the grief still unbearable? Yes. Is it still a shock? Yes. Are there holidays, birthdays and anniversaries coming that will shake us? Yes.
Will it take us out? No.
When Sophia got sick, the first one to ask what happened was my cousin Rhonda. When Sophia was better the next morning, I said it was “because Aunt Rhonda must have been praying some “oh hell no” prayers”. We needed this day together.
We gathered, ate, laughed our heads off, talked about everything under the sun. I saw my family breathe and took a deep breath myself.
My Unca’ Ron prayed to start the meal and there was joy. Joy and grief sure can and do exist in the same place, but for this Thanksgiving meal, the joy was heavier.
It wasn’t that we weren’t thinking about what was missing.
It’s not a memory lapse that allows for these moments. It’s not a lack of awareness. If anything, awareness is heightened. We are that much more aware of what is going on. We know what is right and we know what feels wrong.
Holidays are always changing in appearance. There are years where the table is full, joyfully over-crowded, new faces, missing faces, missing noise and missing quiet, missing when people were little and loving new phases of life (cause grown up cousins are just as fantastic).
Thanksgiving wins every time.
Also…my family is simply amazing. When you look around a room and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that only God could knit this together. God puts families together and when we let Him, He sure does know how to write a good story.