Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. This holiday - one we were lucky enough to celebrate twice with you - is all about giving thanks for our blessings, our family, our friends. It's not based on religion, politics, gifts. The day revolves around breaking bread with those you love.
It would be easy for Momma to ignore this day. First, how can I have a meal with the people I love most, knowing you are missing from the equation? Second, what about this year do I have to be thankful for as the pain and permanence of your absence becomes more and more real?
But then, yesterday, I received a note from a dear college friend. In the note she acknowledged how hard this holiday season must feel for Momma and our family. She also expressed her own deep appreciation for my willingness to share my grief, stories about you, glimmers of hope over The Bean, via this blog. She shared how it has elevated her own love and appreciation for her family. How it has changed her view of motherhood. As I read her note through my tears, I discovered just how much I have to be thankful for this year despite of - or maybe, partially because of - the enormity of our loss.
Some of the greatest blessings I count and give thanks for this year:
- The love and support of the hundreds of family and friends who have surrounded, supported and lifted us over these last 10 months;
- The understanding and grace shown by my co-workers, bosses, and others who have allowed me to ease back into work, into a safe routine, and have never judged as I reveal my tears and sorrow;
- The 500 delightful, amazing days I got to spend with you, Peanut...you changed me, my life, my personality forever;
- The life lessons I've learned in grappling with your loss;
- The new depth of love I've discovered for Dadda as we grieve, build hope, navigate a new future;
- The miracle of The Bean, feeling him grow and kick every day, reminding me that you have a little brother who will be here in January...just days before your 1-year anniversary;
- The power of the human heart to heal, the protection of the human brain to only hand us what we can process, the grace of the human soul to continue to love;
- The tenacity and sharpness of memories to allow Momma to remember so clearly how it felt to touch your skin, smell your scent, comb your messy curls, brush your little teeth, bump your forehead, hold your tight grip, and receive those powerful Peanut hugs.
Peanut, on this day of Thanksgiving, the weight of your absence feels heavier than usual on Momma's shoulders and heart. Yet, I choose to give thanks because of you. I know you will be sitting at the table with us, laughing and enjoying the presence of family and love. Sending you SOOOOOOO much Momma love today...to the moon and back!