Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday.
Before I understood that Thanksgiving was the symbolic start of the genocide of millions of People.
Before my friends and family went through divorce and the homes that were once inviting were now dissolved.
Before I started a no contact relationship with my mom, which simultaneously got me left out of certain family events.
Before life happened…
I loved the sound of football commentary coming from the TV, I loved the even louder bantering and trash talk that poured from the mouths of my cousins and uncles.
I loved that my aunt had a big scoop of warm peach cobbler waiting for me and her freezer would hold my favorite brand of vanilla ice cream.
I didn’t have to introduce myself or my husband, state the names and ages of my kids because everyone already knew who we were.
My family would swoop my girls into their arms, smother them with kisses and then whisk them off to find them a treat or a toy to play with.
It was my favorite holiday, no gifts involved, just food, family, and intimacy.
Now sometimes I hate it. I hate it because it reminds me of what’s lost, what’s broken and what’s missing.
It’s a reminder that sometimes I don’t belong.
I have so many wonderful friends and I still have family that is scattered near and far but sometimes on Thanksgiving I feel a sadness.
A sadness that causes sudden and uncontrollable tears.
A sadness that makes me cancel plans and reject invites.
So for those of us: who can’t go “back home” for the holidays,
who lost the person or people that made us feel whole, who maybe never had a rightful place and still don’t, and who feel alone.
For making the best of it
For finding reasons to be grateful
For still giving thanks for all the provision and abundance we have
For smiling even though the tiny holes in our hearts might never again be filled….
Cheers to you, and Happy Thanksgiving.