Giving Thanks

As I have mentioned numerous times before I moved to Phoenix from Indianapolis last February. It has been an exciting, and at times, lonely journey. I love living with my best friend and reviving our thirty year friendship. I love my new job as a Marketing Director. I have amazing co-workers and business associates. And I admit I love the ‘winter’ weather thus far. Okay, I admit to smiling just a bit when the Midwest was hit with their first winter blast this weekend and it was in the low 80s here!

However, for the first time in my life I will spend Thanksgiving without my family. My children are scattered across this country either serving in the military, going to school, or working and they cannot make the trip. Therefore, I will have to wait until Christmas to spent time with them.

But this is also the first Thanksgiving since my grandfather, the patriarch of our family, passed away and it feels especially disheartening. I cannot help but reminisce about the Thanksgiving’s of days long gone when my parents, my older sister and I would gather with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and hordes of cousins. It was absolute chaos. The food was always cold, the mashed potatoes lumpier then the gravy, and the cold dishes were luke warm. The only thing that was good was my Aunt Virginia’s famous peanut butter pie, which was always the first thing that disappeared so I rarely got a piece.

Angela & Grandpa 2

But we were together. It was family. Regardless of where we all ended up in life, those are some of the most cherished memories I have from my childhood. I can still see my grandfather sitting at the head of the table holding my grandmother’s hand saying grace and thanking the Lord for another year and for all of us being together. It is sad to think that now that both of my grandparents are gone, getting all of us together again would be almost impossible.

And one of the hardest things about starting over anew and leaving the only life you have ever known along with all your processions behind you is, of course, starting over with nothing. I left a bad marriage in Indiana with only what I could fit in my car. Everything I had worked for in my life is gone. Yes, it was worth it to get out of such a bad situation, but my heart breaks when I think about all that I have lost. Still, you honestly do not know how brave you truly are until you are in a terrible situation and forced to make sacrifices for you to have a future.

So this Thanksgiving I am filled with a broken and heavy heart as I miss my family dearly. And as I dry my tears over not being able to be with my three beautiful children and my parents on this day, I am eternally grateful for my best friend, my new home, my new friends, and the new life I have built in Arizona. But in my heart of hearts I will long for the day when we are all together and hold tight to the knowledge that someday soon we shall all be together again.

From my heart to yours, I would like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving spent with all those you hold near and dear to you!!