Today is supposed to be a day where we are thankful for what we have but for us, and I'm sure for many others, it is a sore spot reminder of some of the things we are missing. This is Susan's first holiday without her Mom. While she is a nurse so she wasn't historically able to spend every holiday at home with her family, she was able to call and talk to them and hear their voices. She doesn't have that this year and it weighs heavily on her heart.
For me, it is the relationship with my family that I don't have. Thanksgiving and Christmas make me miss my Grandmother. The family that I was close to, except my parents, are all dead now and holidays feel sort of like paying homage to those that aren't there. My parents and I...well we have a complicated relationship. I love them. They love me. There has always been a block there, though. They are spending Thanksgiving with my Aunt and her kids. I'm glad they are doing something and being with family and I'm jealous that my cousins get their approval and admiration and I'm the embarrassing daughter who they only ever talk to others about career accomplishments or living in Chicago because the rest of my life is shameful to them.
Susan is right, they probably would have come here if I would have asked. Truth be told though they would rather be where they are. I'm sure they wonder why I didn't turn out like Kathy and Julie. They weren't all that different kinds of parents than my Aunt and Uncle. Why didn't I turn out to be straight, living in the suburbs of Dallas with three children whom I home school and take to church three times a week.
I'm so tired of carrying around their sense of shame and let-down. I do pretty well most days being at peace with it but today I worry that on their list of things they are thankful for, I'm just not on it.
Well, enough of all of that. I am thankful for many things and I'm going to go and focus on those things now, take a breath, realize that this feeling will pass and that I need to show them more of what is good in me rather than feeling sad that they don't see it on their own.
Happy Thanksgiving. May you find peace and happiness no matter what your life circumstances today.