Thanks and Giving and Carrying On

I can tell you that this has been a very difficult time for my family and me. Clearly, this is been one of life’s biggest struggles and I am assuming that everything is downhill from here! Very few things can trump this, so I’m thinking that things will be good for a while 🙂 Grief is a funny thing. It is like the ocean. It was incredibly choppy the first several weeks, but as the months went on it became easier to deal with on a daily basis. Then the waves would come… almost out of nowhere. It just shows up and runs right over you sometimes with an almost shocking intensity.

So this week, this month, is one of those storms. I knew it was coming. I’ve known for many months now, wondering when it would hit and dreading it. It is been almost a year since my parents have passed and as I look back now at how I was feeling and compare it to now, I find myself in a very different place. Although the pain of losing them is so fresh, I feel that I am more thankful than ever to have those whom I have in my life now. I am endlessly thankful for the happiness I gained over this year, and I am thankful for such a wonderfully supportive coco163891_1543624552596_4671735_non of people that have enveloped my family and me. Life isn’t always fair; sometimes you get splinters sliding down a rainbow.

Thanksgiving was really one of the star holidays for my mom. We would celebrate with a houseful of people, way too much food, plenty of chaos, and celebrations punctured by laughter and conversation. Mom would spend the day in the kitchen making sure everyone had their favorite dishes, batting hands that tried to get into the food, and attempting to tell jokes that were not really funny. 4624_1088834703134_1302775_nShe reminded dad to vacuum the living room, turned on music way too loud, and swatted away my dad’s hand when he would pinch her buns. My dad would spend the day with a naughty gleam in his eyes. He would try to get a little taste of food before it was served, sneak up on my mom and startle her, and would always make our Thanksgiving toast. After dinner we always played board games, insisted upon by… yours truly. It is easy to picture what this looked like in my house. My dad, being overly competitive, and strategic. My mom, whose moral compass always points due north, found herself naughty enough to cheat! We would have to put a cheater watch on her, and was never me, because left in my hands, not only would I let her cheat… I would do it too… But better! ??????????This year I wonder who will be the first to steal a bite of pie will before it is even served. Well it will probably be me… But it will be sad not to see my dad’s grubby thumbprint there first.

Life after loss hasn’t looked the same for my family and me, but it has been good, and it has been honest. We make choices, changes, and compromises along the way as we slowly figure out what feels right for us. We will find our own unique ways of celebrating the things that are important to us, and to honor the memory of mom and dad.

photoHappy Thanksgiving to all of you, and know that this year, we are exceptionally thankful for you!

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17 thoughts on “Thanks and Giving and Carrying On

  1. Thank you for sharing this post and the beautiful memories and emotions that surround the holidays for you and your siblings. I think of you and your family often and wish I could do more to support you. Lots of love still being sent your way, always. Love, Court

  2. Oh baby girl, I have been thinking of you these days. Grief is an ocean, and this memory of your last major holiday is bittersweet. My dad passed away on Thansgiving day, and when my sister in law and I were wondering what to do with the turkey, my brother said, ” cook it”… We spent the day remembering with John Wayne movies, a Labrador named Pete who ate my gorgeous pumpkin pie, and in the end, loved that day more than many….may that be true for you and your siblings too….not sure how your journey goes, I do know that you are LOVED, you provide inspiration for those of us with less strength, and I for one, am holding you very close to my heart…

  3. I have been thinking of all of you as this season of holidays approaches. Know I love you and care about you. You are in my thoughts and prayers at this time and always. It is so heart warming to hear you express your thanks. I am so thankful for each of you and that you have many opportunities still awaiting you in life.

  4. If I could, I would envelop you, and Terry, and Jaime & Steven, and Jeremy, in a huge Cheryl sized hug. She gave the best hugs ever. I miss her, too, Jessie . . . so very, very much.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings at this time. You and your sister, brother in law, and your brother are in our family prayers daily. You and they are such teachers as to how to handle life’s challenges. You have all been an inspiration to so many. God bless you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with all your memories. Hugs, Cecilia

  6. Such a beautiful post Jess. Traditions, such a wonderful thing for us to carrying on and create new ones. My prayers are for you all to find comfort and peace in one another and those around you.
    All my love,
    Patty O

  7. You’ve been in my thoughts a lot lately. Thank you for this lovely post. I’m so thankful that we–and especially you kids–were blessed with having Cheryl and Tim in our lives. What a wonderful photo of you (a selfie?) and your folks looking on behind you. A touching image. Love to you all, Mardie

  8. We, as so many others, are thinking of you even more now as these days are approaching. You write so beautifully, Jesse. Praying that the love and support of all of us who love you will sustain you and give you the continued strength and courage to meet the coming days. We love you!

  9. Jessie,

    You are your family are in my thoughts and prayers always, but especially at this time of the year. Your incredible strength is an inspiration to me.

    Hugs,

    Shannon

  10. My beloved Jessie,

    You are so very wise and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart. Your parents created an amazing family of individuals who know the value of love. I hug you from afar and thank you for sharing.

    Bonnie

  11. Jessie, just before I read your post, I was making the nacho dip that your Mom always brought to the potlucks at EdCC in the Center for Lifelong Learning. It has been in my recipe book as “Cheryl’s Recipe” for years.

    I think of your family so very often and am sending all positive thoughts to each of you.

  12. Your sharing from the heart was beautiful to read. As a friend of Terry’s, Bill and I know her but have never met any of her extended family. The blog has been a wonderful way for you to convey to all of us the many steps of your journey together. You are in our prayers.

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