Thursday, November 24, 2011

The New Thankful 2011

Every life is full. Good things and not so good things. And sometimes we have to look for the good things. I feel very vulnerable this Thanksgiving. Just a year ago, I thought that if I could just get through the holidays after Rich's sudden death, then life would get better. I never even dreamed that we would sit down to our Thanksgiving meal with another missing place at the table. Yes, it is hard to be happy, and sometimes it is hard to be grateful, but giving thanks is what this time of year is all about.

I am grateful for the friends and family who gather and the way that we can all support each other. I am grateful that we can always find things to laugh about even when we cry.

It's been a good day. Most of us were able to come to KC to spend it with my oldest daughter, Erin, and her family. They had a houseful--nineteen of us for dinner. My son's family had to stay in Des Moines because of work schedules, but we should all be together to celebrate Christmas.

Trent, my son-in-law, is always the cook, and the the rest of us just plan to stay out of his way, and handle the cleanup. He takes his Turkey very seriously, even wearing a chef's coat when putting our delicious dinner together. Jim always spent a lot of time in the kitchen with him, so I know he felt the loss this year. But the other men stepped in. In some ways today was a comedy of errors, and we really felt Jim's presence in many ways. We really thought he and Rich might have been playing a few tricks. There was a little problem with the turkey when they realized that the oven wasn't on, so dinner was delayed! Next, one of the sterno cans under the chafing dish caught fire and we had a little tablecloth disaster right before dinner. Everyone was screaming, and shouting and laughing, because for some reason we are always laughing in the face of disaster in this family. And, right then, one of my dead husband's favorite songs started playing on the radio!!

It was a great meal, though perhaps not our most elegant, with our makeshift centerpiece and singed tablecloth, and tired and hungry children.

We are starting to look forward to happy times. Middle daughter Meg will be moving to her dream home within a couple of months, and we are finally beginning to plan Bridget's wedding, which will be held there in the fall.

"Life goes on, though good men die." (Edna St. Vincent Millay)