The first Thanksgiving

Ok – here is the way it is supposed to work. I get up first – I always do. It is hard to separate your work schedule from the occassional holiday. I make the coffee, flavored of course, (and this time of year it is always holiday peppermint), let the dog out, feed the dog and the cats and get the paper.
Once that is done, I slowly open the door to the room where mom is sleeping (she always does sleep-overs for the holidays) and burst out into song – Happy Happy Turkey Day, Happy Happy Turkey Day, Happy Happy Turkey Day, HAAAAAAAAppy Happy, Turkey Day. Mom always says "What time is it?", I tell her, and then we exchange Happy Thanksgivings. Then it is time to drink some of that wonderful peppermint coffee and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Well, the routine was pretty much the same through getting the paper. But this year no song, this year no mom.
I have to say I am surprisingly non-emotional right now. Maybe it is because it really hasn’t sunk in that mom is not here. Or maybe it is because I have cried so much that the tear ducts are a little dried out at this time. It is so strange, the grieving process. You can be absolutely fine one moment and then zap, you are reduced to mish mosh.
So, it is Thanksgiving Day, a day that I was not looking forward to long before it actually happened. You see, I thought for sure that mom was going to die around Thanksgiving. I could tell by her condition that she probably did not have the strength to make it until Christmas, but I thought it would be just like her to give me my final challenge and see if I was up to the task – that challenge being trying to navagate a funeral and travel arrangements during the busiest travel time of the year. But, in the end, she gave me a reprieve.
So, today will be different in a lot of ways. I had anticipated spending Thanksgiving at the nursing home, sharing a meal with my mom. Because of that, Nick and I decided to forgo cooking a turkey and instead opted to go to a nice restaurant for dinner. Those plans are still on, and I am glad that they are. This way, our routine will be different this year, and I believe that will help in making the emptiness of the day just a little less noticeable.
So, Happy Happy Turkey day to all that are reading this. Take the time to be thankful for your blessings, and most importantly, take the time to hug and cherish your loved ones – becuase that is a gift that we are never assured and that can be taken away from us sooner than we expect.
Tomorrow, I will go shopping without her – and I think that will be even tougher. I pray that there is some way for me to feel her presence and to take comfort in that. I know she would want to be push to move on, and I know she would want my holidays to be merry and bright. I just need to keep telling myself that, and hope that it will eventually sink in. Now, it’s time to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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