Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving: Staring it Down

I kept hoping that Thanksgiving would go for me the way that Christmas went last year (I braced myself for the worst, but when the day actually came around, it wasn’t that bad, in fact, I had fun).

So I did the normal amount of widow strategizing for this holiday.  I planned other things, things that were new and different that I had never done before, time with fun friends and then with my family later.

I knew Thanksgiving was going to be hard.  Thanksgiving was a special time for Sawan and I.  Having met in the late fall, our first Thanksgiving we were falling in love.  In fact, the first time that he told me he loved me was on Thanksgiving Day.  He always said that I told him first, but I didn’t (we would playfully argue about it).  I had been advised by one of my close guy friends to give him space.  To let him say it first even though I knew that I loved him.  So as I was clearing the table from the Thanksgiving feast, I looked across the room at him and just thought in my head “How can I keep this inside?  I am so in love with this guy.  How am I not gonna tell him?”  As I’m having these thoughts, but saying nothing out loud, he said, “Me, too, you know.”  I startled.  I’m like, “Umm, I didn’t say anything.”  He just smiled and said, “I know.”  About two hours later we said it for real, and he went first.

Later years, it was such a fun holiday for us because of his love for food.  Sometimes I would help him in the kitchen, sometimes not, but he would be cooking for days.  He would make his own stock for stuff.  He made a Pumpkin Crab Soup one time that we had a string of family emails about because he had accidentally called it “Pumpkin Cab” soup and it became a joke about Cinderella’s vehicle.  That (other than grilled cheese) was my favorite thing that he made.  He made it often this time of year.

So, this year, by the day before, I was such a wreck.  I decided that I was going to have Wednesday to cry.  I was just going to let myself cry all day if I needed to, and then on Thursday I was going to find a way to enjoy my friends and family.

It just didn’t quite turn out that way.  I guess I haven’t quite learned yet how to control grief.  I did the “Turkey Trot” in the morning, a fun-run with some girlfriends and their family.  That kept me from being home while the parade was on.  I had a great time.  But by the time I got to my parent’s house for round two, I was pretty much just a puddle on the couch.  I tried.  I used every ounce of power that I had.  Sometimes it’s just not enough.

Did I enjoy Thanksgiving this year?  No.  I survived it.  Am I thankful?  Heck yes.  I’m thankful for all of the friends that I got to be around.  One of my Merry Widows was down from Bozeman.  She was one of the ones that came and sat next to me on the couch at my parents’ house.  I’m thankful for my sisters.  I’m thankful for my mom and dad that are just so amazing about my grief.  I’m thankful for my sister-in-law that also traveled for the holiday, and for her kiddos, that keep me cheered up.  And, for the rest of the family that I didn’t interact with that day but are there for me emotionally anyway.  I'm thankful for my friends that I started my day with.  I'm thankful for the quick turn around I made on Friday, as well, that seems to be something that's getting better (it doesn't take as long to recover from a bad day).  I have so much to be thankful for.

I found Sawan's recipe for Pumpkin Crab Soup, with his handwritten notes next to it.  I haven't gotten the guts yet to make it, but I'm hoping to soon.


  1. Good job. The best you can do is the best you can do, and I hope that you were surrounded by understanding. Love to you.

  2. I LOVE your silent "I love you" story! Goosebumps...