Can't believe it's Thanksgiving already. Definitely one of my most favorite holidays. Minus the stress of Christmas, I get lots of no rushed time with family, good food and money doesn't have to leave my pocket. This year is no different----except the flu has hit our family. My dad was diagnosed yesterday, Miss M started running a temp today-so all the festivities are iffy. Not the first time Thanksgiving has been questionable---remembering 3 years ago. Shane & I were spending the night in the hospital after a lung biopsy, chest tube removal and a very heavy diagnosis. Things were bleak. I remember praying that we could just be home for Thanksgiving-we came home the day before. Shane's last Thanksgiving was spent at home in pain, in question, he did have his sweet bro-in-laws passing the time with him and we had Thanksgiving dinner delivered to us. Not the best, but we were together,& kids were happy with Mimi, Poppee, aunts & cousins. I remember wishing the day away, wishing many days away. Why is it that when we are in the middle of something we are constantly seeking a way out? Why is it we fail to relish where we are when we are in it? Why didn't I soak up everything about that Thanksgiving day 3 years ago? No, had no idea it would be our last together, as a family, but why didn't I appreciate every second? I can't remember our conversations, the weather, what I was thankful for at the time. Makes me want to start absorbing every second of every day-good or bad. Whether I am home with sick kids, or if I'm sick, on this Thanksgiving day I want to soak it all in and every day after. I want to make sure I write down and store away in my heart all the simple things, the big things, the smells, the weather. I want to remember years from now that me and my 3 watched the sweetest movie *tonight. One about faith, Gods plan for our lives even when our lives are not perfect. I want to remember the tears I cried at some of the most touching words that were said. How we laughed together watching. I want to remember how the kids have continually brought up the fact that their daddy's birthday is tomorrow, how they remember how old he would be, how we did and would celebrate. I want to relish the fact that one of the gifts Shane gave my 3 was the fact that while most kids their age are really afraid to talk about end times and their potential deaths-that mine look forward to it in a non-creepy kind of way, but a sweet faithful way. J and I were talking about the happenings in Israel and he grinned and said,"good, means I get to meet Jesus sooner than I thought and I get to see daddy again." During the same conversation Sam said,"I'm a little afraid to die but I'm excited to meet God and see daddy." These are the conversations I want to absorb, store away for later times. I want to absorb their laughter, their smiles, their smells. I wish I had known then what I know now before Shane passed-I would have paid more attention, soaked more in. Lesson learned---don't take one second for granted. While watching the movie tonight the narrator said something so poignant that I had to rewind and listen again...
"when someone you love dies, you don't lose them all at once, you lose them in pieces..." Joe from Simon Birch.
It's true. Slowly, over time, their smell disappears, the smells that you once took for granted, their habits, their coughs, sneezes--little things. You have to really think about their laugh, their smile. Slowly, piece by piece, you lose them with each day that passes. Normal process, hurtful, but not as painful as losing them all at once. I've recognized, however, that piece by piece becomes a little bit easier with time as well along with pain. Thankful that God gave me pieces to hang on to and the strength to deal with the ones that slowly disappear. I really have to recollect the pain of that Thanksgiving day 3 years ago. The pain may never cease but the pain becomes less.
Tomorrow-Shane's 41st earthly birthday will be spent remembering him and all the pieces that we haven't lost yet. This Thanksgiving, flu, no flu, with or without turkey & dressing, I plan on relishing every second with the ones I love, being thankful for all the good and bad in life-knowing that, like Simon Birch said in the movie tonight and how Gods word promises-its all in His plan, even in November-3 years later.
Happiest of Birthdays Shaner-still miss you- 3 years later.
Happiest of Thanksgivings to all-soak it all in- piece by piece- and I'm not talking about your meal!