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.