I’m not sure how to feel about the holidays coming up. No, I didn’t misspell my title. I feel weird about them tonight. I guess I am feeling some sort of identity crisis- maybe I’ve lost whatever I thought the holidays are supposed to be.
You see, growing up, my house (well, my mom and dad’s house) was full of relatives. Thanksgiving? My mom’s family over for dinner, which was always at noon-one o’clock should there be late-comers. (there were always latecomers.) After my mom’s family left, the next day or so , my dad’s family would come. Maybe not for dinner, but at least to visit. Needless to say, I’ve always associated the holidays with a full house of family and friends.
Last night, my husband found a video of a Christmas spent, as usual, with my mother. Just our family- my family of origin and our extended families around the Christmas tree. My four grandsons-still just little boys, my daughter and her husband, Sean (now deceased, sadly), my sister and her family and my mother. How wonderfully bittersweet it was to see everyone together. There was my mother, complaining about having her photo on the video and Sean saying the new jacket would fit if he could lose ten pounds. No one was aggravated, there was lots of laughter, it was great to hear their voices again and see their faces. It was a reminder to me that we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I have felt pretty solemn since I saw the video. All of us laughing, having fun, being surprised – just being a family. We were oblivious to anything bad or sad. Within about two years of that video,,my husband’s mother and my mother went to be with the Lord and then so did Sean. Our family forever changed.
Now, I have my kids, all married- going their own way this Thanksgiving – and I’m happy they are able to do that. So, it will be me, Stephen and Father Charlie this year for Thanksgiving. Maybe David will come. I hope so. Even though it is family, I’m a bit dazed and confused since the house will not be full to the brim. I am so thankful, though that each of my children have spouses who love them and feel good about being able to go to their other family’s houses for Thanksgiving.
What a great time to find a long lost video- just as we all celebrate our gratitude, I was able to see and hear the voices of those I loved so much. While I am celebrating my living family members, I will celebrate the fact that God gave me other people who have gone on to His house before me.
So, while you are celebrating gratitude, remember to tell your family and friends how much they mean to you-how much you love them. I don’t think we can ever say it too much. Happy thanksgiving!