The smell of wet leaves and wood smoke in the air. The first cold snap. November means the holidays are coming.
My father would have been 87 years old yesterday. He died November 26th of 2010. My mom died November 21st of 2006.
I listen quietly to people lamenting about all the work of Thanksgiving dinner and cleaning house and bothering with this or that relative, and I think, “Just wait. There will come a day when you wish for all that and more.”
Grief has a way of reminding you of all the good times shared. Everyone comes to a point where the loss of family makes certain days bittersweet. I am no different from anyone else.
But this year, as I feel the first chill in the air, I remember it was my mother’s favorite time of year. I embrace the sadness with the joy and open my heart to the experience. I am profoundly thankful for the time I had with my dad and mom, brother, aunts and uncles, grandfathers and grandmothers…all gone now. But as I stir the fire in the fireplace this Thanksgiving, I will bank sweet embers of memory inside my heart against the coming winter.
My sister’s birthday is today and she is coming to spend time with me and my incredible husband this Thanksgiving. I cherish her visit more than I can express. So while I think of my Dad and Mom and all the family next week, I want them to know we are ok. And yes Dad, George will smoke the turkey and yes Mom, we will make the dressing with so much sage it will be slightly green. But it won’t be as good as yours. And we will tell all the family stories. And all our extended families will go and do as they wish.
And I will be thankful I have the chance to laugh, love, and remember one more year.