A different kind of Thanksgiving…
This week, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. But this year, I imagine it will be different than in years past. We’ve had a banner year of change and in some cases, complete disruption in our lives.
FOREWARNING: Deeply personal post today.
Some people have lost loved ones to COVID, some have lost jobs, some have lost their businesses, some have lost their homes, some have lost friendships…
Some of us have experienced the hard effects of major life changes and not being able to cope with all the change.
I will admit, 2020 is definitely not how I envisioned it December 31, 2019 while writing my goals and plans for 2020.
It’s been a lot to take in. It’s been hard to watch the country and world be so divided.
I thought I was handling all the change quite well.
I have been blessed to have worked from home for 20+ years while raising my son. I’ve been blessed to work with one of my sisters, Cris. And I have a great team in various parts of the country and world who I love and adore.
I’d already been quite used to wearing a mask (and gloves) having previously cared for a loved one who had a weakened immune system.
And until just recently, no one I knew personally or in my family had COVID. Now I have family members who have had it in recent weeks.
Then, the past couple of weeks have been especially hard. We had to remove my parent’s belongings from my childhood home (of 46 years) because it sold and either has to be moved or demolished. (My Dad passed away in 2010 and my Mom passed away in May 2019.)
Sundays were for potluck dinners…
Nearly every Sunday, we had potluck dinners there every week—as many as 25-40+ people would get together for our weekly potluck dinner. It was fun catching up and watching the kids grow up—we all knew that Mom looked forward to it each Sunday.
As our families grew, it became difficult to have Thanksgiving at Mom’s.
So, I would try to reserve our church gym because it had two stoves and we could eat and watch everyone play basketball or volleyball, fly their drones, or race their remote cars. My brothers loved stuffing a piñata full of leftover Halloween candy for the kids at the end of the feast. But, I think they had more fun making it difficult to break the piñata, even using duct tape… (I’ll cherish all those funny videos!)
Last year (2019), I knew it would be my Mother’s last Thanksgiving and I prayed that she would feel good enough and live long enough to see one more Thanksgiving Day. Also, I asked a professional photographer to take family pictures.
The week before, I had bought her a new sweater and scarf in her favorite color for her birthday. I hoped she’d feel good enough to even get dressed on Thanksgiving. She had pancreatic cancer—and even though she was trying as hard as she could to beat it, it was winning.
I was so busy cooking turkey, sweet potatoes, dressing, green bean casserole, and other things that I didn’t call her until a couple of hours before it was time to be at the church.
As it turned out, she didn’t feel good on Thanksgiving.
She didn’t think she’d be able to make it, but thanks to a miracle, she did. She was frail from all the weight she lost because she couldn’t eat.
You’d almost never know how awful she was feeling by how she looks in these pictures.
She managed to sit for a family photo with every one of her 7 children—and their families who could be there—and then the family photo. (And we had many people not able to attend!)
She smiled bravely. Said she was doing ok. But we all knew it was painful and that she was exhausted from all the activity.
I’m thankful to have had that time and some extra bonus time with her. I’m grateful for all she taught me before she departed.
Sadly, Mom won’t be at Thanksgiving dinner this year and I will definitely miss her, my Dad, my ex-husband/friend, and other close friends who won’t be there or who have passed on.
This year has been a tough one for most of us.
However, we can choose to either dwell on the negative, or we can turn it around and be THANKFUL for what we do have.
As we approach Thanksgiving Day this year, perhaps we should consider our attitude and gratitude. And truly give thanks for being able to be here, to serve, love, and grow.
I encourage you to ask yourself:
Are you focusing on the negativity that surrounds you, or are you allowing yourself to be surrounded by thankfulness and allowing it to enrich your life?
Why not start giving thanks today?
What can you do for a loved one, a stranger, a family member, or someone in need?
When you think of Thanksgiving, what comes to mind?
Pumpkin pie? Roast turkey? Watching football? Spending time with your family? Writing your list of Black Friday specials?
This year, I give special thanks to you.
Thank you for being here and reading this.
And if you happen to be needing career solutions, we have some pretty sweet offers coming up to give back and thank you for being here and part of our community–so watch for those soon.
A partial list of more of what I’m thankful for is in the comments.
Write and let me know what you’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving.