Thanksgiving wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t really good either. Not the fun holiday I have enjoyed for the last 36 years. When I arrived at my parents’ house, my dad asked, “Are you okay?” which I appreciated as it acknowledged that this Thanksgiving was different. I tried to stay busy in the kitchen with my mom. Before we sat down to eat, we stood in a circle and held hands to pray. My dad kept it pretty short (possibly because my sister’s semi-new boyfriend was with us for the first time and he doesn’t believe in God:( ). He prayed for God to help us to find things to be thankful for this year. That was pretty good. But I had secretly wished beforehand that he would mention Luke in his prayer this day. Something like, “Thank you for our Luke who is in heaven with you”. I just wanted a mention.
When we started to eat, my dad said he wanted us all to state what we were most thankful for this year. I did not like this. My mom immediately said, “To start with, we are all here!” My heart felt stabbed–We are all here?! It is so glaring to me that we are NOT all here. I know she didn’t mean anything bad by it and she misses Luke too, but it still bothered me.
As my dad went around the table asking what we are most thankful for this year, no one other than my mom really had a clear answer for him. When he got to me, I said that I didn’t know, but I guess Josh. (I am thankful for him, of course, but I that felt like a generic, cop-out of an answer). As I sat there and we continued to eat, my heart urged that it is Luke I am most thankful for. How could I not have had that answer immediately? It felt like a betrayal to him not saying so. As soon as my sister’s boyfriend left to go to the bathroom (he actually has lost a baby too with his ex-wife, but I don’t know him very well so I feel awkward being very personal in front of him), I blurted that I wanted to change my answer and I was most thankful for Luke. This made me start to cry so I sat looking at my hands and crying, while my sister rubbed my back. It was quiet for a minute. It was a little awkward, but I was glad to finally have his name mentioned on the holiday.
Here is what he would have worn yesterday.
I did have a few happier moments laughing at the annual dog show we traditionally watch and snapping my sister’s hot pink thong underwear as she crawled on the floor wiping up a spill.
I am very thankful for you friends in this loss community. I am so glad to be able to connect with people who really do understand. I think of you all often and pray for you. I hope you made it through yesterday with at least some little moments of calm and peace and hopefully even joy. At least we have one down!