We’ve had a delightful Thanksgiving week. I’ve been thinking about the importance of traditions, and I’ve realized that I tend to not want to make a big deal of special occasions because in my mind, it’s merely setting us (or maybe just me) up for disappointment. However, with our mixed-up, crazily-blended family, we need those things that identify us as family.
In all my growing-up years, every big holiday was celebrated at my grandparents’ house. When their health began to fail, the hosting jumped around from various aunt’s or cousins’ homes. Thanksgiving seems to have fallen by the wayside. So I hosted this year, and I’d like this to become a tradition. Besides the fact I enjoy it, when we host at our home, it allows the flexibility of time. If we hadn’t hosted this year, we wouldn’t have seen Brandon and Diane at all, but they squeezed in a visit with us on Thanksgiving morning before heading to Diane’s parents’ home for lunch and then Brandon’s mom’s house for supper.
I was very excited we managed to get a family photo done while Diane and Brandon were here, too! I’d given up on the possibility for this year because our schedules have been so whacky. There weren’t going to be any Christmas cards from us this year, but now they’re ordered and on their way here. They totally reflect our family’s personality. (I’ll share after I’ve mailed them out!)
My dad came to visit, even though he couldn’t enjoy the feast. (He did, however, take some coffee through his feeding tube. I’m not sure how good an idea that was, but he wanted some SO badly and it smelled so good. I just wish he could’ve tasted it, as that’s something he’s always enjoyed.) Here my dad is showing my mom and my Grandmama pictures on the back of his camera of the bear he skinned, and the resulting bearskin rug.
Friends have asked if it’s difficult having my divorced parents at the same get-togethers. They’ve been divorced for about twenty years, so the wounds are not fresh, and I think they’ve learned to appreciate each other again. And in recent times they’ve gotten along even better since they’ve both had reminders about how short life is. My mom’s side of the family still loves my dad just as much as if my parents were still married. My Granmama, who has been in poor health lately and knew about my dad’s health issues, really wanted to see Dad. When they hugged when he first came in, they both got emotional for just a minute, which made me get teary-eyed. I realize, at times like that, that this could easily be the last Thanksgiving I have with either of them. But then again, that could be said about any of the rest of my family or friends – or myself. I must live this life!
Lacy the WonderDog spent much of her Thanksgiving quietly (and effectively) begging for a bite of our feast. She has honed her subtle begging into an art form.
I enjoy the times of just hanging out and chatting with the family after our bellies are full, too. (And I’ve recently rearranged my living room again!)
By Saturday, we were all ready for a little time out of the house, so we ran errands, and went out to eat something other than turkey. Ken and I hardly ever have photos taken of the two of us together, and since we ended up having an unplanned coordinating-but-not-matching-outfit day, it seemed like a swell day to ask Lindsey to snap a few photos of us.
And then I turned the camera around on the girls. I love-love-love those times when my girls laugh and enjoy each other. These sisterly moments don’t happen all the time, but I believe that on those occasions when they do, it’s more genuine now than it was a couple of years ago. It’s still hard to believe that we’re just now coming up on the second anniversary of Lindsey’s adoption; we all keep thinking it’s been longer than that.
I hope you and your family enjoyed a blessed Thanksgiving as well, and that we all learn to cultivate a heart of thankfulness every day of the year. In that spirit, I’m adding to my thousand gifts list again…
1131- a home and food and things that make it possible to host a feast
1132 – hugs from my daughters
1133 – sisterly moments
1134 - how time and love has made Lindsey a true daughter of our hearts
1135 - holiday traditions
1136 – kisses from Ken
1137 – the look on our girls’ faces when we kiss; I believe it reassures them all is well
1138 – old emotional wounds that are slowly healing
1139 – reminiscing over the stories behind sentimental Christmas ornaments
1140 – another layer of happy memories added to my own storehouse, and my childrens’
1141 – hearing my dad laugh, even though he can’t talk
1142 – photographing milestones like a first pregnancy
1143 - a very cute dog who is delightfully happy with a morsel from my plate
1144 – my new grand-niece, born two weeks ago
1145 – watching cheesy old Christmas movies with my family