I miss Mom most acutely at this time of year.  It’s not that I don’t miss her the rest of the year…I don’t think it’s possible not to miss her.  But we were a family that had traditions.  LOL  Seems strange to say that now. 

It was one of the hardest things about being the “married” one of the kids.  I had TWO families to balance on holidays…Thanksgiving was the worst, I think!  My husband’s parents would have Thanksgiving ON the day…so did MY family…for the longest time.  Mark and I would go to his parents house (they live just down the road), eat dinner with them and the extended family there, and then we’d travel to Mom’s and have ANOTHER dinner there because my family usually ate our Thanksgiving dinner later in the day…2 or 3 o’clock. 

My first time cooking an actual Thanksgiving dinner came the November after Mom died.   I had no actual plans ON Thanksgiving since we’d finally gotten his parents used to doing it on the weekend instead of on Thanksgiving Day.  My brother and sister-in-law and their kids came out. 

We did the same last year.

This year?  No idea.  I have all the makings for our dinner and I’m planning on cooking one just for us, if that’s what it comes down to.  I haven’t talked to my brother/sister-in-law yet to know if they have plans.

I remember having to get used to NOT spending Christmas Eve at Mom’s.  That was a big change!!  Even my first year married I insisted on spending the night at Mom’s!!!  The following year it became apparent that I had to “grow up”, much to my dismay.  The year after I had a baby of my own to celebrate Christmas with…but I still missed Mom’s on Christmas Eve!  We’d play board games, cards, sit up and drink coffee and laugh…and laugh…and laugh.

My family dissolved when Mom died. 

We do not get together for holidays anymore. 

We do not get together for much of anything.  But I’m lucky that my brother and his family are right here in town.  If I really need a dose of “family” I can always go see them.  Mike’s usually at his Pub during the day…he’s pretty easy to find!  My sister and I spent a few days together with our daughter’s this summer that were quite nice and I really appreciated the time.

But I miss my “family” the way it once was…when we could always count on seeing each other on Easter, the 4th of July, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  There were birthdays, holidays, and all kinds of not-so-special occasions where we would all gather together. 

It’s incredibly hard to go through holidays without my family…but I’m learning to make new memories with my own family and Mark’s family like I’ve never done before.  I’m blessed with in-laws that have enveloped me in love and support and who I now, regularly, call Mom and Dad…I never would have imagined that!!  I’m also blessed with friends that remind me that “family” isn’t necessarily blood-lines….Family is in the heart.

And with that I leave you all with a heart-felt wish for a Happy Thanksgiving and prayers that all of your holiday’s are filled with love, happiness, and above all else, laughter!

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