Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bountiful Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving.  I have read so many posts about Thanksgiving that were so eloquent that I almost didn't post, but I decided that those that know me won't expect a post like that!

I have been on the fence about whether this would be a good day or a bad day.  This year has been so full of changes that I wasn't quite sure when I got to this day which way it would go.

So here we are, and guess what?  It is going to be a wonderful Thanksgiving!  This is actually my 2nd favorite holiday (I just can't give up Christmas as number 1).  It was the first holiday that I claimed when Wonder Hubby and I married.  At the time I thought it was a real coup but over time I realized that The Nana and my MIL were probably just relieved to be off the hook for this one!  Attendance ranges from 10 - 20 depending on the year, and there are no paper plates or cups allowed.  Neither is eating off your lap, so tables are brought in as needed.

I love Thanksgiving because, despite being a ton of work (yes it is....but I secretly love it), it is low pressure.  There is no deciding where and when to go anywhere.  Everyone is more than happy to park at our table.  Again, upon reflection, I think they all knew something I didn't 26 years ago when I took Thanksgiving. 

I love preparing all the same foods (I'm anti-change you know), the same smells, the same sad jokes.  I don't love the same ton of dishes or spending days getting the house up to par, but you have to take the good with the bad.

Thanksgiving was my maternal grandfather's favorite holiday.  He absolutely loved coming to my house for dinner.  In the chaos that is a family holiday, I might find myself questioning my sanity and wondering if anyone appreciated any of the effort it takes to orchestrate such a production.  With my grandfather, I always knew someone did.  I always feel him with me in the days before Thanksgiving when I am preparing things and certainly on Thanksgiving day.

This year is very unique.  We will have only 5 of us gathered around the table.  My baby brother, The Nana, Mini, Wonder Hubby, and myself.  At first this made me really sad, but then I realized that there will be only 5 of us because of blessings we have already received.  Let me explain a bit.

My son will not be here because he was blessed to graduate college this year and accepted a position across the country that is the first step in his dream career.  See where I am going with this?  He isn't here because of this blessing, for that I am thankful. 

My grandmother passed away in August so that will leave another opening at the table.  She was 93 years old and had lived in a nursing home for the past 4 years.  She was in good shape mentally and physically until 6 weeks before she passed away.  Sadly her last 6 weeks were not easy and although I miss her and wish she would be here for Thanksgiving, we were blessed with her not having to endure a lengthy illness  She will be with my grandfather for the 1st Thanksgiving in 8 years.  For that I am thankful.

My father and one of my brothers won't be here this year.  My father is blessed to still have his father and will be joining his dad and his siblings to celebrate Thanksgiving, my oldest brother is going to join them.  I was sad that my grandfather couldn't make the trip here and that my dad and brother won't be here but they will be together.  For that I am thankful.

Funny thing is, once I began to think of all the reasons my table is empty the more blessed I felt.  The more blessed I felt, the happier I was, and the happier I was the more upsides I saw.   I only cooked 1/2 day today and have only a couple of small things to do tomorrow morning.  That is amazing since I normally cook for days.  I am not completely stressed out with details (guess I have learned to roll with the changes a bit this year).

So tomorrow morning I will get up, take my time, and enjoy my coffee.  Maybe watch some parades, actually find time to comb my hair and wear non flour covered clothes, and give thanks for all the blessings that leave only 5 at my table.

May each and every one enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving.

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