Very early on Thanksgiving morning. Not gonna lie, I'm excited to go back to sleep after I write this, watch the parade on TV, have lunch at Granny's (we've always gone there for lunch on holidays) and see my little baby cousin, and whatever else we do. There's a new little person in our family that wasn't here last year. And she's adorable and I'm excited to see her. But there's also someone missing. Someone very important. This is the first Thanksgiving without Grandma. The first major holiday without her at that. This is a day I've dreaded for years, being the worrywart that I am. I knew at some point, she wouldn't be with us anymore and a holiday would come when we couldn't go to her house at supper time and eat all of her delicious food that I love so much and will never truly experience again. I think it was a lot harder to anticipate this day when she was still alive than it is now, although I am getting a little emotional. I've been so strong these past two months...I guess today will be the test.
This isn't actually the first Thanksgiving that we haven't had supper at Grandma's house, though. Last year we spent Thanksgiving in the hospital with Grandma because that's when she started having all of her health problems. So in a way, this week is an ugly reminder of the beginning of her health declining. Then we didn't have Christmas at her house because she had just been moved to the rehabilitation center so we went there. Looking back, I'm really glad that I didn't know that Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2009 would be the last that we would spend traditionally eating dinner at Grandma's house. I think it's easier that way. It's easier to deal with today knowing that we didn't have Thanksgiving at Grandma's house last year. I guess it was God's way of easing me into the change...because He knows that's what would be best for me. But that doesn't mean this will be easy. It's still hard to know how much Grandma wanted to have Thanksgiving at her house last year, and how she had planned on it and didn't wanna be in the hospital. She even had her cornucopia napkins laid out on her dining room table, ready to be used for last year, and we never got to use them. Sounds silly and corny for me to bring that up, but little things like that really get me. I'd give anything to be able to have Thanksgiving with Grandma tonight.
My dad and I had decided that after Grandma passed away, we would help serve at the homeless shelter on Thanksgiving, so I think we're gonna try to do that. We also have great friends to spend the evening with after that, so I know it's still gonna be fun. Just never the same. I actually did think about getting some Bojangles and taking it to my Grandma's empty house (and whoever wants to go with me haha) and eating dinner at her table, like we always did. Just to indulge in my own emotions and some self-pity for a little while. I know it would bring out some emotions, and that may be what I need right now. I don't always have to pretend that I have it all together. Granted, most days I do have it together. I know Grandma is having the best Thanksgiving ever right now, and there's no need for us to be sad or mourn or eat at her house. That's what my dad said. But I'm just the kind of die-hard traditional person that would do something like that, so we'll see haha.
But for right now, I'm going to make a list of what I'm thankful for instead of being sad.
-of course, Jesus, and God's unfailing love and grace
-my amazing parents and their constant support and love and wisdom
-my brother and sister and laughing and having good times with them. built-in best friends.
-my sweet Granny and being able to spend lots of time with her
-a fun and Godly boyfriend
-the most wonderful and fun friends
-the cutest beagle in the world
-being able to go to a great school
-FOOD (my stomach is growling, ughh!)
-being able to attend an awesome church
-America: a free and beautiful nation. proud to call it home.
And especially today, I am choosing to put aside the sadness and be THANKFUL for the 23 years I got to spend with Grandma, and all those Thanksgivings with her wonderful food. I am thankful for the constant Godly influence she had on my life and her love and support for all of us. I've been blessed more than I can express by her and all she has done for me. The memories we shared will be with me for the rest of my life. God blessed me so much with her.
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. There's so much to be thankful for. And of course, I'll post later about what I actually did today!