cherish the second of every minute of every hour of every day of every month of every year

There will be an empty chair at Thanksgiving this year. I find myself quickly reverting back to stage: denial. I miss my father always, but especially during the holidays.

My father loved Thanksgiving and I believe it to be my favorite holiday of the year. Or was. Now I am just not so sure. Feels like at this point Halloween was a little easier…. but I guess that would be taking the easy way out. Dressing up as someone (hiding reality) vs. “dealing”. πŸ™‚ OK, I still love Thanksgiving. What a beautiful time to cherish life and your loved ones.

I gotta say my dad was never immensely involved in the cooking. or the chopping. or the cleaning up. After all, he knew his place in the kitchen and ironically – that meant avoiding the kitchen. But what he was exceptionally good at was entertaining the kids throughout our long day in the kitchen. Not to mention entertaining us! He was always smiling, always having great conversations, and always the life of the party. I feel like those that had the wonderful chance to meet my father are better for it.

But he isn’t going to be with us this year. I am thankful for all he brought into my life and for all he gave me. But no question he is going to be missed at the table. It was a life taken too soon. I have so many happy memories, but there is still this knot in my stomach (must be in my heart!?) of sadness and emptiness as we near the holiday season. I know they will never be the same again and I am having a really hard time accepting it.

It would be selfish of me to think I’m the only one suffering this holiday. I know I am not alone. I know some of you reading this are also dealing with a lost loved one or someone not well in your family, or your circle of friends….. Life isn’t easy and the holidays seem to bring everything to the surface again. It is our “job” now to let these memories bring humor and love into our lives. To associate the wonderful smells and tastes and sounds of Thanksgiving with our loved one(s). Enjoy what you have and cherish each moment.

For now, I will deal the best way I know how. To be positive. To be a “glass-half-full-kinda-gal”. I celebrate daily what I was given and continue to honor the memory of my dear father in the best way possible. On Thursday, I’ll be making a Chocolate Bourbon Pecan pie. Sounds like a weird way to commemorate my dad, I know. But he loves Chocolate. He loves Bourbon. and He loves Pie. I can almost picture him eating it right now. At this point, anything I can do that is “dad ish”, I’m doin’.

Through all of the sadness, I am surrounded by an incredible group of loved ones. And for that, I am thankful.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and let your (almost full) cup runneth over!

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