Nothing real estate-related today…simply reflecting on how thankful I am for having my health, my husband and two children and our house and more than enough food for the table. God is good.
This is my first Thanksgiving without my dad. I hadn’t spent Thanksgiving with him since 1990, so it’s not like the day will be flooded with memories of recent celebrations. But that 1990 Thanksgiving was one of the most fun holidays I’ve ever experienced. My brothers were there, too – Jon with his new wife and Jim with a girlfriend. My dad and his wife, Robin, were still technically newlyweds just 18 months into their marriage. I was engaged to the estimable Matt McGee and was looking forward to the following Thanksgiving, when I’d be his wife. I had lost about fifteen pounds and was feeling pretty good about myself. After living in jeans and sweatshirts for the eight years of high school and college I was finally venturing into professional clothing and I discovered I liked dressing well. So, it was one of those rare moments when everything in your life is progressing smoothly and your family is happy, too.
But the biggest take-away from that Thanksgiving day was the memory of the laughter. To this day, no one makes me laugh as my dad could and brothers can. That day, I laughed so hard I could hardly eat the feast. My sister-in-law and my stepmom looked on with bemusement at this person in the family (me), who found quite ordinary humor, extraordinary.
I spoke with my brother Jon yesterday; he has hit a rough patch in his life. My stepmom is still mourning the passing of my dad. Jim’s ok, I’m ok, Matt and the kids are fine. But for all of us, today will be at least a bit difficult. I know that for me, the echoes of the laughter from November 22, 1990 will be with me now as I create new Thanksgiving memories for my kids.
A friend e-mailed me and included a quote from something she read today in The Arizona Republic . In a list of things to be thankful for, the author listed this as number five –
We share a reverence for memories, too. Just about everybody will miss someone today. It’s a bittersweet reminder of how much a life can matter, how important it can be to simply do the day-to-day tasks of living, loving and letting the dog out.
The irony of it all is that we got a dog this year. My dad HATED dogs. After I said we could get one, I realized I had always said no before because of my dad. When he visited I wanted him to feel comfortable in my house, and he wouldn’t have if I’d had a canine.
So this year, as our dog Sparky prowls around the dinner table, hoping for scraps, I’ll be thankful for him, too, and what he represents. In letting go of making things right for my dad, I let in an opportunity for more fun and more laughter and more memories. Thanks, Spark.