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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday season? What holiday season?

    Apparently, the "holiday season" is upon us. Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday. Food, family, football....what's not to love? Then a big chunk of my family went missing. I barely remember last Thanksgiving.  This Thanksgiving, things are a little different. There is no one big gathering. My mom and stepdad are in one place with one uncle and one set of grandparents. My dad and stepmom, sister, and aunt are in another place. My FIL and BIL are hosting dinner at their place for my BIL's girlfriend and her parents. I have friends who have invited me to their gatherings.  Everything feels fractured to me, just like my little family.
     So what do I do? I do what I used to do when I was younger, before I had a whole family of my own. I go everywhere. I put on my happy face and visit with my dad, my in-laws, and my friends. I show my kids that we can have a happy holiday even though we may not all be together. I show them that there are many different kind of families....some that are whole, some that are broken, some that are made up just friends, and that everyone in your life can teach you something. Teach them how to manage to eat a little at everyone's house as to be able to join in all festivities. Watch some football, play some games, and have some laughs.
       Just because there is a big hunk of my soul missing doesn't mean I have to take away part of theirs. I will try my best to keep Thanksgiving as my favorite holiday. I will try not to drink to much and fall to pieces. I will be cheerful and thankful and everything else everyone expects me to be because I am "strong".
      I made it. It was interesting.....three mini dinners, and nothing quite felt right. It wasn't wrong, but it wasn't right either.  You know how it is when you try on a shoe that looks good on the outside, but pinches your little toe on the inside? That is what Thanksgiving felt like.  I was all helpful and happy on the outside and tears and angry on the inside. I missed B terribly but found comfort in his favorite football team playing on the TV spending part of the day with my in-laws and another part of the day with one of his closest friends. The signs are always there, sometimes I just have to be no so wrapped up in my grief to appreciate them.

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