Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Thoughts

We are scattered this year.  I try not to think that we are scattered across the countryside like the dry leaves that cover the ground, yet, in some ways, that is how this Thanksgiving celebration feels to me.  Parts of me are scattered all over the place this year at Thanksgiving.  
In my heart, I gather all of my dear ones into a big pile.   I think of how wonderful it would be to have all those people I love most together in one place at the same time.  I imagine how colorful, interesting, comforting, and fun that pile of people would be.  
I  see all of my children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, my siblings, my cousins, my aunts and uncles, my parents, even my grandparents in the glorious pile of people I would love to have surrounding me this Thanksgiving.  
Time and space makes that vision in my mind impossible.  This does not stop me from remembering each one and for being grateful that I shared other Thanksgivings with them.  I treasure the memories.  
This year, I am in Erie with my daughter Amy and her two children, Mason and Hannah.  Jason, Julie’s boyfriend, will join us later.  Jim is in Colorado Springs with his daughters and grandchildren.  Boston is at boot camp with the dog trainer we hired.  Two of my children and four of my grandchildren are Utah.  One son and his family are in the Boston area.  My 95 year old mother is with friends in Grand Junction.  We are truly scattered across the country and the state this year.  
As a family, we suffered many losses in the past year and a half.  Our lives have been changed in many ways.  We have experienced the truth in a quote from a dear friend of mine who is also the facilitator for my grief support group. We have had a year full of both “tears and laughter,” and I think we have learned this truth:  both are  “such defining experiences for we are truly human in the combination of both...”
It is good to have a day when I can stop and remember my many blessings as I move forward in life.  It is also good to remember, to shed a few tears, to laugh, to dance with my daughter, grandson, and granddaughter.  I’m enjoying watching my daughter Amy prepare her very first Thanksgiving feast.  She wants no help from me.  That is a good thing.  I love her independence and ability to take on life and all that it throws her way and keep on smiling.  I love that in all of my children.  I learn so much from them.
 I am learning how to integrate the past with the present, pain with joy, loss with abundance.   I am learning that life is truly a combination of both laughter and tears.  I am learning to accept the human condition and experience.  For all of this, I am grateful that I have learned I can give thanks.
I hope all of my blogging friends know you are great blessings in my life.  I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.  
  

26 comments:

Dee Ready said...

Dear Sally,
Your thanksgiving prayer speaks so clearly of the journey you have taken in the past year and a half.
Like you, I have begun to accept my own humanity--both the laughter and the tears. It is a good place to be, isn't it?

Peace.

rosaria said...

Thanks for writing this post. Happy Thanksgiving.

Rita said...

How very true. Laughter and tears. It's the tears that make the laughter more precious. :)
Happy Thanksgiving! Love can transverse the miles. :)

Thisisme. said...

What a lovely post today Sally. Beautifully written, heartfelt and deeply touching. I know how difficult these times are for you, and it is so true that life is made up of tears and laughter. I wish you comfort, love and happiness on this Thanksgiving Day.

Kay said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Sally. My daughter is in St. Louis right now with her family visiting her in-laws. My son (in NM) has his partner's parents visiting. He just called saying the turkey was about to come out of the oven. Friends that we used to celebrate Thanksgiving with (in Illinois) are now spending it with their daughter's in-laws to be. Life is full of changes. You can't fight it, I suppose. You can only embrace it and find the joy where you can.

My brother and his wife will be coming over soon with the turkey. Change can be nice too...

Grandmother said...

Happiest of Thanksgivings to you and your family. I'm grateful for your presence in my life!

Barb said...

Hello Sally, We've just returned from a feast at our son & d-i-l's house. It's good to pass the baton to the next generation. My son likes to make all the old recipes from my family. The meal we have together feels like a blessing to me - past, present and future mixed together. Your words "to integrate the past with the present, pain with joy, loss with abundance" resonates with me. I wish you and your Family a happy holiday. Stay safe and well.

Bossy Betty said...

Lovely post. These holidays bring up all sorts of emotions. I send you lots of hugs on this day.

Linda Myers said...

Enjoy where you are and rejoice in your many blessings.

Relyn said...

The meal has been eaten.
The kitchen is clean.
The leftovers are stashed.
The walk has been taken.
Everyone is happy and fed and blessed.
Now I have the time to stop by.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to tell you that I am thankful for you; for this blog; for inspiration. Sending you much love, Relyn

Arkansas Patti said...

Families do get scattered and those all together Thanksgivings are mostly memories, but oh such pleasant ones. Thank goodness for phones.
How nice that your daughter wanted no help. That meant you got to just rest and enjoy.

Jean said...

This is a beautifully-written post which expresses so well for all of us the joys and sorrows of moving through life. Thank you for this.

I'm sure little Boston's tail will be just a-waggin when you get back home.

DJan said...

Every few years I go to my brother's house where we have a huge gathering of siblings, nieces and nephews, lots of kids everywhere. But this year, it was just me and my guy having a wonderful quiet feast.

Your post is filled with all the reasons I am glad we have met; your grace and heartfelt thanks touches my heart. Thank you for coming into my life.

Chatty Crone said...

I am glad you had a great thanksgiving. sandie

Joanne said...

Since my kids are still young I am grateful that we all celebrate together. I know there will be a day when that might not be the case. My son keeps telling me that he will buy the house next to ours no matter where we decide to retire! I wonder if I can get that in writing. :O) I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Blessings, Joanne

Sightings said...

I think for most of us anyway, as we get older, our clan becomes more scattered. But it seems like you're holding it together pretty well. Nice post, and blessings to you and yours.

Rose said...

Such an inspirational post! It is rare these days to be able to have your whole family together at one time for a celebration. I hope that you and your family had a very happy Thanksgiving no matter where each of you celebrated.

Just saw your new addition on your last post--he's adorable!

Linda Reeder said...

I am just now getting to this posting. I'm so glad I found it. It is truly lovely.
The imagery of the scattered leaves sticks in my mind. All those lovely leaves taken where the winds of time have blown them. And yet they came from the same roots, and those are the ties that bind.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Sally, you have summed up thoughtfully and eloquently the challenges of integrating both pain and joy into our lives and somehow making sense of it all. I enjoyed your image of having your entire extended family all piled up around you!

Olga said...

Beautiful. I am so taken with the idea of a family pile in the heart. I do get a bit blue because broken and blended family makes it impossible for all my family to be together at holiday times. But, you are so right. They are all right there in my heart. Thank-you for this post.

troutbirder said...

Well put. Your doing well with it all as holidays are often the hardest.

Terra said...

This is my first visit here, and it sounds like this past year was one of big changes for you. You are wise to count your blessings.

Terri Tiffany said...

I loved this. I love how you are grateful for the family that you could spend time with and add those others in your thoughts:) Your day sounds like it was filled with blessings!

Isabelle said...

Hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving.

Jeanie said...

My dear Sally, despite all the challenges of your past couple of years, you have found a way to wrap yourself in love and joy, family and memories, acceptance and perhaps a good deal more peace of mind than you may have ever thought you might possess.

I'm grateful for that, to hear these words and to know you are healing. It doesn't happen overnight, but to recognize gratitude -- oh, how very important that is! Happy Thanksgiving -- a few days late.

KleinsteMotte said...

I am happy to hear you are with one of the family members. It seems that we must all adjust to our kids moving about globally. But we have a much betters ays to stay in touch than ever before, ichat and so on. Yup we do get to learn from our kids. Even our Buddy teaches me to see things in a different way. God Blees