Can you believe it’s already the beginning of November? Where has the time gone? The calendar reminds me it’s only 53 more days until Christmas, but I’m not ready to think about that yet. It’s November, the month of Thanksgiving, so instead, I’m trying to focus on thanks, even if my heart is hurting.
Truth be told, thoughts of the upcoming holidays began seeping into the cracks of my heart weeks ago. The dreaded anticipation of the empty seat around our table.
The questions and memories began assaulting my mind: Who is going to help me stuff artichokes? Who is going to beg me to get ham and a turkey? Who is going to help make my mom’s stuffing? Who is going to ask for cherry pie from our favorite bakery, along with 4 other pies, just because they are all good? Who?
My mother had a saying, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.” It’s not something I hear much anymore but it sure does describe my girl. We could have only 4 people at our Thanksgiving table and Melanie would beg me to make both a ham and a turkey because she loved ham so much! The last year she was with us, it was only 4 of us and we literally had 5 pies, mainly because Melanie requested her favorite, cherry pie, along with another favorite, or two! 🙂 These memories make me laugh, even as I try to swallow the lump in my throat.
As a parent who has lost a child, there will never be a time of getting over this loss. There will never be a holiday when I am not saddened by the fact a member of our family is missing. But I’m equally certain Melanie would want me to carry on our traditions. I know there will be a time I’ll be able to do it, but I place no pressure on myself to do so this year.
I’m still finding my way through the valley of the shadow of death.
With Melanie’s unexpected death, came the realization of the frailty of life and how quickly your world can change. Death can come in swiftly, sweeping through with hurricane force winds, leaving you standing there in the midst of the debris.
Yet, I also understand, though my heart may be broken, one day it will certainly be whole again. Yes, that is something to be thankful for. Though traditions may change and shift, I’m thankful for the memories of my girl, which will never be forgotten.
There is much to be said about journaling and making a gratitude list. Give it a try. It helps shift your focus toward all the good in life. I’m so grateful for the family and friends God has blessed me with. Most importantly, I’m so grateful that ultimately my home is in heaven, where Melanie is, and one day I’ll get to see her again. For that, I am eternally thankful.