It is early.  While it is still dark, the street light is allowing me to see that a frost is covering the cars that are parked outside on the street.  It is Thanksgiving.  The house is quiet, everyone is asleep.  Another holiday.  This one is a biggie.  The first of a few that are still remaining in “the year.”  The first year without Joe.

When there is a holiday, everything is magnified.  I understand why the holiday season is tough on people.  A bright light shines over our lives.  Shows us changes, or imperfections we don’t want to see.  Whether it is a divorce, the longing for a baby that has not yet arrived, or the empty chair of your beautiful boy.

Day to day without Joe, well, is different. Life can feel thicker, slower, heavier.  My loss is even bigger today.  Last Thanksgiving, Joe sat next to me.  I remember he ate seconds, which was surprising. Eating seconds was unusual for Joe.  Joe did not eat a lot at one time.  He was just constantly eating.

I counted my blessings as I sat around that table last year.  I know it is a good thing that we don’t know in advance when a tragedy will strike our lives, but I wish I would have known that this year one of my greatest blessings would be gone.  What would I have done differently?  I would have worried less about the “future” that never came.  I’m not sure I would have been able to hug Joe more.  I was constantly hugging him.  I told him often that I loved him.  My arms ache to hug him today.

When you have a tragedy, a bright light shines on the people around you.  Shows you who the people around you really are, and what they are made of.  Now, that is where I am grateful.  Thankful.  I hope you never experience the nightmare that was our story this year, but, inside the darkness of loss, people show up.  Loving, kind, wonderful people.  If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are one of those people.  People showed up in a big way.  The support, love and kindness from those closest to us, to total strangers, was beautiful.

God does not take from us without giving us gifts in return.  God gave us the gift of love and support.  Tonight at dinner when I think about where my son is celebrating, I will think about the people and human spirits of those who picked us up and carried us when we could not carry ourselves.

Look around your table.  Love the people around you.  Hug them.  You cannot hug too much, at least I don’t think so.  Most importantly, tell them that you love them, because tonight’s dinner is the only one you are guaranteed.

Have a wonderful and blessed holiday.


Please leave a comment

  1. karen giannetti Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Susan. I’m thankful to have you in my life.

  2. Regina Says:

    happy thanksgiving Susan…

  3. Sue M. Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving. You are in my thoughts and prayers today and always.

  4. Kimberly Feltz Guzzi Says:

    happy Thanksgiving to you! Blessings to you and your family.

  5. Erin Tuladzieck Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Susan! This post was amazing and your beautiful words of wisdom truly help me remember to worry less and enjoy the moment – at the same time, cherishing the special people in our lives. So, thank you for your post and many blessings to you today and always <3

  6. Jane Huff Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving !
    I think about you every school morning right now I am subbing on a run that drives kids to SLS. <3

  7. Laura Says:

    A Blessed Thanksgiving wish to you and all your family.

  8. erin Says:

    AMen and thank you ! We will be thinking of you and thanking God for his Graces that sustain us! love to you all…

  9. Michelle S. Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! I hope all of you find the strength to enjoy this day! I am thankful the Kimutis Family was chosen as our neighbors! I am thinking and praying for all of you!

  10. SusanP Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Suz. I am thankful for the day I met you at Mother’s Morning Out not knowing at the time that we were destined to be friends forever. I am grateful for you being there in my darkest hours, praying and being my friend. I am hoping that as you go through these difficult times, you will feel my love, support and prayers for you and your family. You are a special person, Susan, and I am forever grateful and honored to be and call you my friend.