One less place setting at the table this year,
One less hand to hold
One less voice among the chatter
One less contribution for my memory-making fold
Thanksgiving is the last holiday to endure without my husband – the last of many firsts. Admittedly last year wasn’t much of a celebration as he was in an active swift decline – but he was still here and would still smile through it all. I am thankful for his life.
I am thankful for my memories. I am thankful for those who are a constant presence in my life. I am thankful for people to call when I need help. I am thankful that I have food for the table and thankful for a warm bed in my home. I am thankful to God for giving me the emotional strength that it takes to continue to support others. I am thankful that I grieve because that means I had someone to love.
I am most thankful for my faith, because even though I am thankful for so many things, I am sad. I am thankful for the people and things to fill my daily life, but I am still sad. However, sad does not mean unhappy. My faith tells me that I will not be sad forever because someday I will be thankful to be in the presence of Him and my one true love.
One glass upside down at the table because he is always near
One hand felt holding mine as we will bow our heads to pray
One voice that is constant in my memories
I will be thankful for Thanksgiving Day
I remember through the years always hearing that as you get older, the time passes more quickly. That could not be more true than it is today. Where have the last 11 months gone that my love left this earth?
What have I done with this time? Have I honored the memory of the one that completed me? Have I made him proud?
As I methodically move through this next month preparing for one year, (which actually seems inconceivable to me) I realize that the 9th of the month holds such a love-hate emotion within me. Surely there is something important that I am not remembering about all of this; some connection to a date that will forever be burned into my memory. What hope was there when God said “Come with me”. For the suffering endured, for the sadness and worry to end, a celebration ensued. It was over. That was it. An Event. I must get over the date and remember the celebration. This is what I am going to work on. I am going to remember the joyful fact that this man, my man, my love and my life is in a place that none of this earthly grief matters.
There is a surface on which I build my future. One deep layer is sparked by that eternal flame living within me; the love that will never die. God has promised me that I just need to turn to Him and He will see me through. Good thing He is there for me because there are times when I feel so very alone. This is the hard part. Even still, His presence known, I have never experienced such an emptiness. I can describe my sadness and grief at the loss of parents and grandparents and siblings, and I can describe the hole left by the death of our son. I am lost.
I am the child that sits on the carousel, as the music continues to play that is searching quickly with her eyes for the parents who brought her there. Around and around I go but there is no security when I stop. Keith brought me to that carousel and I have nobody to hold my hand when I walk down from it. I am alone. There is no one or no thing that will ever replace the love and security he gave me. But if I hold steadfast to my knowledge of all things beautiful will be together in heaven, then I will take this as my hand-holding moving forward and let the music continue to play.
I am really okay, but some days are difficult. When a grandchild has such tears of sadness and sobs with the pain of missing her grandfather, those moments take my breath away. They make my heart hurt physically and make me lose myself in the grief. Today is a difficult day and I don’t mind sharing that, but I am still a woman blessed. I am most-loved by an Angel in heaven. I love you and I miss you, Keith.