Giving Thanks

The holidays have always been hard. My husband and I live on the opposite end of the country from my family, so I can’t go to my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving dinner and tell my grandmother how great her turkey and noodles were, or how much I liked the pumpkin pie. I haven’t had thanksgiving dinner with my family since my daughter was born.

She was still on a liquid diet then. Now she has braces and a flat iron. Yeah, it’s been a while and normally it’s no big deal. I call my parents, tell them I love them, wish them a happy turkey day and have a good time talking on the phone with them. After the phone calls, hubby and the kids and I start cooking, mostly hubby cooks and the rest of us watch while we watch some movie or show on TV. Then we’ll play video games until we get tired and we’ll all pass out in a puddle in the family room.

At some point, someone will call or text message someone else and we’ll wake up and then we’ll pack up the remains of our feast and go to bed.

Is it particularly exciting or eventful? No, absolutely not, but it’s always been good. This year though, my brother texted me and said, “Is there something wrong with wanting to spend Thanksgiving with our dead grandparents than with my living family?”

The wound of losing our grandmother is still a little raw. It’s still pretty easy for me to be reduced to tears, just by thinking about her. The other day, I woke up thinking about her and decided I would call her, and had to mentally kick myself because she’s gone. We still miss her a lot, and it’s particularly hard now, knowing that she will never make another apple pie for us, except in spirit and that’s why I knew why my brother reacted with disgust when I told him that I was not baking a pie today. His reaction was pretty direct, “I’m moving in with you guys.”

But if he moved in out here, he wouldn’t be able to go visit their graves and talk to them, and for that, I am jealous of him. I wish I could visit their graves today and thank them for all the wonderful things they gave me while they were here, that they still give me now that they’re gone. I wish I could tell them that I loved them, even if they are in the ground.

It’s a damn sight closer to them than I am now.

Yeah, I miss him too.