Tearful but thankful

Well, it would seem that I wasn’t meant to have a proper Thanksgiving this year. I wished for one and even invited family and friends to join me, but no one was able to come. Instead, I decided that I would make the trip to my homeland to share a traditional turkey dinner with my parents and one of my sisters and her family. (Although between us we’d decided that our “traditional” dinner would be eaten out at a nice restaurant in town followed by desserts at my sister’s.)

Whilst I’d really wanted to host dinner this year, I was happy with the plan because it would mean that I could run in a local 5K race with my nephew on Friday and, more importantly, that I would be able to visit Paul’s grave on Saturday for what would have been his birthday.

We tried to make it, but once I finally got to I-90, the roads were just too slick for safe travel. It’s funny that the rural farm roads I’d been on for nearly 60 miles – which were covered in drifting snow so bad that you couldn’t actually see the road – was a more pleasurable experience than the freeway! So I had to make the difficult call to turn around and return home. Back home where food would need to be scrounged because we’d eaten the fresh stuff in the days before; anticipating being away for a few days.

My foster daughter seemed to handle the disappointment OK. Maybe that’s because upon returning home she instantly went out sledging with her friend; which worked well for me because I needed to be a complete sobbing mess for a while and I couldn’t do it in front of her. And I sobbed a lot after she went out to play. But thankfully I regained my composure and came up with an alternative plan for us before she returned.

When the kid arrived back home we got into our jammies and I started to prepare a feast of grilled cheese sandwiches, saltines with peanut butter, oranges, microwave popcorn, and stale peanut butter cookies for dessert. All to be enjoyed whilst curled up in front of the fireplace watching Stuart Little.

But just as the pans for grilling the sandwiches were ready, there was a knock at the door. It seems the neighbours noticed my car was home and knew that meant I didn’t make it to the homeland after all. So they brought loads of food for us – apologising for not noticing sooner or they’d have had us over for a proper meal! An invitation for a post-feeding visit was extended, which we happily accepted.

So, as we sat down to our lovely meal of ham and turkey – with a big plate of desserts tucked away in the kitchen – we sat to reflect on how our miserable Thanksgiving was a day to be thankful for, indeed!

And after partaking in delicious desserts that our wonderful neighbours brought, we wandered through the snow over to their house for a visit. The kid played with the kids; I sat and shared a bottle of wine with the Mrs, and the Mr kept the kids in line and the fire stoked.

I’m still very sad that I didn’t make it to the homeland and suppose that it’s partly because I can’t be there to take flowers to Paul on his birthday now. But still, I am thankful today.

I am thankful that despite the bad roads I made it safely home.

I am thankful that my neighbours, whom I barely know, were so kind and thoughtful and not only shared their food but opened their home to us to share in the evening.

I am thankful to be warm and toasty in my own home as the kid sleeps soundly in her bed.

I am thankful that even when everything seems so sad and low, things always seem to work out with the grace of God.

And I am thankful that today, all the way in England, my great-nephew, Travis, was born. A Thanksgiving baby is always something to be thankful for.

4 Replies to “Tearful but thankful”

  1. I love you, sis! I was so sad to not have you joining us, but learning that you had a proper meal and a good visit with great neighbors makes me happy.
    Paul will be remembered on Saturday by all who love him. We will be having cake for his birthday and visiting to bring him fresh flowers as well.
    All my love,

  2. I am so glad that you have such wonderful neighbors. Though we did miss having you here for dinner, I am really grateful that you made it safely to your home. I would much rather not see someone than have them be in harm’s way just for a visit.
    We will celebrate on Saturday with Celeste and her family. And, I would be willing to bet that Brendan will “see” Paul at some point on Saturday.
    All my love,

  3. weather and travel plans don’t mix at this time of year – sorry you didn’t get “home” for this special event.
    but wow, what lovely neighbours! i’ve never been that inspired by state holiday traditions but isn’t it lovely when everyone is expecting to have a great time they can also notice when something is amiss with those close by? i bet this Thanksgiving will stay in the kid’s memory for a long, long time as something incredibly special.

  4. Sorry you didn’t get home to your folks and to Paul for Thanksgiving, but you made the right call and I’m so pleased that your neighbours were there to look after you. Whilst it wasn’t anywhere near what you were hoping for or wanting, it does sound like it was a truly heartwarming experience, and as you say, something in itself to be thankful for.
    The snow has arrived here now and by contrast, there is every chance I will get snowed in at my folks place!
    Take care

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