Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Beginnings are Full of Both Hope and Sadness

Thanksgiving Day was a lovely celebration made very special by my daughter Amy.  In years past, Amy has either spent Thanksgiving with her former husband's family, in Utah with her father and siblings who live there, or in Pueblo at our house.  She has never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner before by herself.

This year, Amy and I had actually planned on driving to Utah together to spend Thanksgiving with the family, but circumstances and timing caused us to change our plans just days before Thanksgiving.  As she and I discussed what we would do to celebrate the holiday, she insisted that she wanted to cook.  I wasn't going to argue with that.

Thanksgiving has not been a happy holiday for several years.  It has been a trying time for Amy in particular as she has gone through a difficult divorce while she was also coping with the loss of her very best friend and sister, Julie.  Amy and Julie were practically inseparable since their earliest days.  Julie was born just two years after Amy.  They lived within just a few miles of each other for the past ten years.  They even worked at the same place until just before Julie died.  There was not a day that went by where they did not text, talk, or see each other.  I don't know how Amy has carried on, but carry on she has.

I'm so grateful Amy and I had Thanksgiving at her  house.  That house is filled with so many memories.  I barely can write as I think of all the birthdays, Mother's Days, Easters, and Christmas celebrations that we have had at Amy's.  Julie is also front in center in every one of those memories.  She figured very large in every event that Amy every hosted.  So, even though it was hard, so hard, it was a blessing to have Thanksgiving at Amy's.  It also made it a bit easier because Thanksgiving had never been at Amy's before, so there were no memories of Julie being there on Thanksgiving.

The Details

Amy is always so thoughtful.  Whenever I have a dinner at my house, she always brings a bouquet for the table.  I nearly forgot to do the same for her.  
Then, I saw this turkey vase with a fall flower arrangement.
I thought how perfect it would be for her to have this little gift as a reminder of the first 
Thanksgiving feast that ever she cooked.

Hannah is making sure the table is set just right.

The turkey was cooked to perfection.
It was so moist.
Truly, Amy did an excellent job.

She even had to learn how to carve the turkey.

We laughed when Amy heard herself say, "You kids stop eating the vegetables" while they patiently waited for dinner to be done.

Mason was ready to eat, but he agreed to a few photos.

Mom and daughter
My beautiful daughter of whom I am so proud.

 Mason and Hannah, two of beautiful grandchildren, are two of the great blessings of my life.

Jason, Julie's boyfriend, and our dear family friend, joined us for his second 
Thanksgiving meal of the day. 

Mason gave a thumbs up to his mother's cooking.  He said she did an excellent job.
She did.

After dinner, we started a marathon game of poker.  Jason helped Hannah because it was her first time at playing the game.  After just a few hands, she was on her own and winning.  This girl was good!  Grandma was defeated early in the game.  
The game went on for what seemed a lifetime.
I finally went to bed.
I heard Mason won and the game was finally over at sometime after midnight.

Amy will close on her house in the next few weeks.  She will be leaving the only house Hannah has ever lived in.  It will be hard to leave this place.  It has been the family gathering place for all of us many times.  It was where Amy spent many hours with Julie.  Every room is filled with so many memories.  I know how hard it will be for Amy to say good-bye to this place.  Hold her in your heart as she moves forward.

We truly are grateful that Thanksgiving was celebrated well this year.  We had good food, good company, played some fun games, and made great memories.    It also marked an ending and a new beginning.  Life is full of both, and it seems that every ending brings it share of sadness, but this sadness is tempered with great hope for the new beginnings that follow.


Joanne said...

Looks like you all had a great Thanksgiving! Amy looks like you. Her first time cooking the Thanks giving meal and it was moist? That is quite an accomplishment. The centerpiece is lovely.
Blessings, Joanne

Jackie said...

I will hold Amy in my heart as she moves forward. Thank you for a love-filled blog, Sally.
I was touched as I read your Thanksgiving 2011 memories. As each holiday passes, I pray that the memories of Julie that you hold near and dear continue to lift you, hold you and speak ever sweetly to your heart. She is and always will be there with you.
And....may I add this footnote to Hannah: Good going, girl!! I'm proud o'you!! Enjoy every moment of happiness that you can!! Never let 'em see your hand, and keep that poker face going on! As you move to your new place, know that the memories of the old will help you develop bigger, brighter new ones. Smiles and hugs to you, Hannah.
Chat with you later, Sally....

Kay said...

What a beautiful daughter, Sally. I can see the resemblance. You have such a gorgeous family. The feast looks fabulous! I'm so glad you had such a lovely Thanksgiving. I don't think I've ever carved a turkey.

Thisisme. said...

Hallo Sally. What a lovely post - happiness tinged with sadness. Your writing is beautiful. All you can do is to have great hope for the new beginnings that follow. I feel for Amy, losing her sister and best friend like that, but my goodness, she certainly did you all proud with her cooking, didn't she?! The food looks delicious. Lovely that Julie's boyfriend was also able to join you. You're right, your daughter is beautiful and she looks very much like you! My goodness, it will be such a wrench for her to leave her house with all the memories, and I will certainly hold her (and you) in my prayers. She will take the memories with her in her head and in her heart, so that Julie will always be with you all. Take care, and sending you hugs.

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

Yours is the first post I've read this morning, and I'm so glad I did. What a beautiful way to start the day, reading of your celebration. It was indeed one filled with much love. (((HUGS))) to you and your family. You'll all be in my prayers. Happy Friday, sweet friend. You have certainly blessed mine. ☺

Romans 15:13

troutbirder said...


DJan said...

It's so wonderful to have a really positive memory to be that last one in the house. I do hope her new home will be filled with love, light and laughter as this one was. Thank you so much for the pictures, too...

gigihawaii said...

What a pretty turkey vase! The table was beautifully set, thanks to Hannah. Sad that Amy has to sell her house, which is filled with such wonderful memories. Hope she likes the new one.

Jeanie said...

You share the emotions of this holiday with your family so well. My daughters have a relationship like your girls and I really admire the strength and courage Amy showed in making new memories for this holiday with the old ones she carries in her heart.

Arkansas Patti said...

The first Thanksgiving meal cooked can be a gray hair adding event. Amy seemed to have handled it with grace and aplomb.
What a lovely family she has and I am glad she has you, her children and Jason in her life.

Olga said...

This was such a lovely post. It is so true that endings and beginnings are an ever present part of life. You have expressed the attending emotions so well.

Rita said...

What a beautiful family! Nice to start a new tradition. My DIL and siblings had to begin new traditions this year for the holidays as they lost their mother to cancer this past spring. (Their dad died many years ago.) You want to keep the family unit together and keep going. Those kids will remember fondly the new traditions as will you all. :)

#1Nana said...

Great pictures. You do have a lot to be grateful for. I used to think that I liked change, and then I had a lot of change imposed on me and it wasn't quite as rewarding. Like a boat on a stormy sea, I was tossed around but finally found a harbor. I know there are more storms in my future, but I know I can float. I hope your family finds the safe harbor and all their journeys are on calm seas.

Dee Ready said...

Dear Sally,
I, too, will hold Amy and her family in my heart as she moves forward. It's so hard to let go of the past and to move forward into the future. But your posting shows so clearly that Amy is equal to that. I hope that all of you gather often in her new home and create wonderful memories.


Grandmother said...

The start of a new tradition and all things good. I'm glad for you and for the healing balm it spreads.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

It was a beautiful Thanksgiving, and well documented. Now Amy and her wonderful family will build on those memories in their new home. But I have to agree, change - even good change - is stressful. Be well, everyone.

Barb said...

Your daughter is lovely as are you, Sally. Glad you could spend the time with your Grands, too. I think this is so important for us all: "It also marked an ending and a new beginning."

Linda Myers said...

I am 63 and I have never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner. Congrats to Amy!

She sure does look like her mama.

Sandi said...

Hi Sally, I loved the warmth and love immersed in this post, and especially was moved by one of your last sentences. ". . . it seems that every ending brings it share of sadness, but this sadness is tempered with great hope for the new beginnings that follow."

That thought fills me with hope, and my heart is holding your daughter tight as she leaves her comfort place and ventures to a new one.

Doors open for a reason, and when we step through, we find new joy, and new discoveries.

Here's to hope and a future filled with goodness.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

I will keep Amy in my prayers as she moves from her home. I did that myself about five years ago and it is hard after all the memories but now I love where I live.
Beautiful post and I am glad you shared the wonderful day with us.
Our holidays have been really hard the last three or four years and I am always thankful for January to get here.
I keep praying the holidays won't always be like this
Wanted to tell you that I am having a long over due giveaway so I hope you have a chance to enter

Chatty Crone said...

Happy Belated Thanksgiving. What a touching story you have written. I so understand sadness, but the need to go on. You have a lovely family there. Blessings for a happy new year! sandie♥

Mrs4444 said...

The holidays are really tough for people who've had such losses. I will say a prayer for Amy tonight.

Jeanie said...

That photo of you and Amy is a treasure. Both so lovely. I'm glad you could be together- - it sounded as though you needed one another especially this year. I will think positive thoughts for Amy as she moves onto her next chapter in life.

I'm so glad you could share the day with Jason, as well. It's good you can embrace each other during times that must be very difficult for him as well.

Now we're onward to the next. I'm doing my best to get my mojo with varying degrees of success. Hope you are more so!

KleinsteMotte said...

Each day i n or lives comes with hope and unexpected twists that we are to cope with. As you have your challenges we do too and that is why I send you all the best for all of you and yours.
Thanks for doing the same for us:) The surgery date is set for Dec. 9th. We are praying.

Isabelle said...

A very touching post. You have a lovely family.

Friko said...

What a wonderful post.
You know the reason for my belated arrival, but I am very glad to have come here finally.

The sadness of the past and the hope for the future shine through every word. Even though your heart may be breaking, each day brings a new beginning and go forward we must.

You still have so much to be grateful for, savour each day as it comes and keep hold of the love you so clearly have in you. It will help you and in return you will receive loving care from those who are left.

My very best wishes to Amy and her children for the future.

Loveforfood said...

nice family pictures.