A friend asked me tonight how I was doing, especially considering the first holidays without my mom. She knew that our birthdays—mom’s in mid-September and mine in October—had been especially hard.
The closer it got to her birthday, then mine, the harder it got. I was stuck in those feelings of darkness for longer than I wanted to be.
On Thanksgiving, embracing the spirit of the holiday, I was determined to be thankful.
My sister-in-law had volunteered to cook the Thanksgiving meal this year, and that was such a gift, in ways I am only now coming to understand. Rather than scurrying to cook, we sat by the fire, read the paper, and watched Polar Express. We never even turned on the Macy’s Parade.
I thought of my mom plenty, but breaking with tradition helped me focus on what I have in my life. I allowed myself to let go of my ideas of what the day was supposed to look like and just enjoyed it for what it was.
Don’t get me wrong; I missed my mom. But rather than being overcome by the feelings, this time, I was able to feel them and let them go. I let myself really cry, and then made the conscious decision to shift my focus from missing her to being grateful for the love I have in my life, which, of course, is built on the foundation of love that she laid.
That felt like a good way to honor her love.
It reminds me what Karl says to Kai when a great time with friends is coming to a close and he begins to get upset about having to leave/end the play date.
“You have a choice to make, buddy. You can be happy for the time you got, or sad that it is over.”
Seems like that is a choice me make over and over in many different ways–two sides of the same coin. Which do we choose to see?