Thanksgiving has always been a loaded holiday for me. With divorced parents, we were used to being separated but it always seemed harder on the day we were giving thanks to look up at the table and see the faces that were not there.
I always had a place to go and I was always with family, but it was not always the way I pictured it to be.
Fast forward a few decades and now we all have families of our own. So we are separated again since there are so many that we call family. It would be impossible to celebrate with everyone on one day. So we will have a few celebrations and be thankful for even longer.
Last year was Miranda's first Thanksgiving and it fell over Hanukkah. I am glad she will not remember it as it was confusing even to the grown ups! This year, she will probably not remember, either, but at least she will get two distinct holidays! I am excited for her to try the organic turkey that Uncle Jeff and Aunt Neda are preparing. I am looking forward to her first bite of apple pie. I can't wait to see her in her booster seat at the table and smiling from ear to ear. To say I am thankful for her is not enough. There are no words to express how thankful we are for her. They simply do not exist.
I feel like I should be angry that Allie is not with us. That I am not shopping for the perfect outfit for her. That I will not get to see her eat or play or smile or laugh. But I am not angry. I am just sad. We are starting to use her name more around the house. Miranda can say Allie. She smiles every time. Is that just because she is mirroring us? I am not sure.
My family is everything to me. My family by blood, my family by law, my family by adoption, my family by choice. My family that are my friends. I am so lucky and and so thankful - not just tomorrow but everyday.
There will always be faces that are not there. To that, I say look harder. Look in your heart. There they are.There they will always be.
Happy Thanksgiving! Below are just some of the reasons that I am giving thanks this year!