This year has the extra-special added element of an overseas visit from my sister Kay's family, who we haven't seen for two years. And the extra-extra special part of their visit is that now they have Baby C...who I've been longing to meet since his birth 10 months ago! Kisses over video chat just aren't the same thing as mooshing on plump cheeks in person. Today will be the first time all five cousins--my two boys, Claire's two boys, and Kay's--will be together. This Auntie is beside herself anticipating all those fuzzy heads whooping, crawling, or drooling all over her house. It will also be such a joy to see my Dad with his grandsons inevitably piled all over him.
But on that note, there is also inevitable sadness because my Mom isn't here to see and know her grandchildren. G is the only one who remembers her--and it's hazy at that, since he was only three and a half years old when she died--and she never got to meet the youngest three boys. Holidays are full of mixed emotions anyway, especially for this tradition-oriented family. We did things basically the same way every year, from the location to the food, and it's been a slow grief process to gradually form new traditions.
Some of our traditions have remained, however--like having our big dinner at noon and enjoying
Not that different from many other Americans' Day of Thanks fare, but these particular dishes taste like home to us siblings...and I am so thankful for home--for the loving home I grew up in, for the welcoming home I have now, and for the eternal Home my mom has already gotten to. In some ways, no matter what the joy or sadness, with my Heavenly Father at my side I'm always home. Wherever you are today, may you feel welcomed home too.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.