This blog might be a little longer than some of Maggie’s. We had some difficulty this Thanksgiving morning as Jim’s mom suffered a stroke or some other neurological event which caused her to collapse after eating breakfast. She was taken by ambulance to the ER and, as of this writing, is awaiting tests. She has a history of strokes, and all we can do right now is wait.
I am taking a deep breath and honestly writing:
I don’t know how to feel. I’ve had a very hard time at my in-laws’ expense. At the same time, I don’t wish ill upon anyone, especially my husband, for whom this morning has been very hard. Some years ago, he lost his father right before Thanksgiving.
The nutshell saga is this: Jim’s older brother didn’t want us to get married, and told lies about me to the entire family, which of course, spread like wildfire to all the nieces, etc. Long story short, I was not exactly welcomed into the family; and for most of it, it’s been a rough ride.
Although I tell myself to move on, forget the past and live in the present, old wounds are hard to heal. The holidays are especially difficult as my adopted parents have both died, so my side of the family is nonexistent. Sometimes, I don’t feel like I have a counterweight to Jim’s family. I get angry and resentful that I have to cook, clean my house, and be on my best behavior for people I am still uncomfortable around. I tell Jim that I’m supposed to enjoy the holidays, too. Then I catch myself.
I have come to accept that the best thing I can do is this: not to judge them. (Although I will point out that my one brother-in-law has such….energetic children I had to kennel Maggie for the holiday until Saturday. It wouldn’t have been a good scenario if my usually good-natured dog lost her temper around them.) So for all of us, I packed her a turkey dinner and sent her off. It doesn’t seem fair though, and like this is just one more hoop I have to jump through (not to mention Maggie!) for my in-laws.
So, it’s Thanksgiving. Aside from everything else I’ve just mentioned about what’s wrong, what’s right? What am I thankful for?
I am thankful and grateful this year that I have my immediate family: Jim, Erik, Jamie, Jenny, Mike. I am thankful for my canine family of Maggie, Rusk, and CoCo. I am happy and grateful to have fond memories of those who have passed. I am extremely thankful, mindful, humbled, and blessed, that we are all healthy. I am thankful we are together this year and that my sons are not, for example, stationed overseas somewhere, with all the horrors that war entails; and I am indebted to our servicemen and women who sacrifice so much. I am grateful for the roof that is over my head and the food that is in my belly. I am thankful I have a warm coat and a reliable vehicle. I am thankful I have a job and that my family is gainfully employed. I am sincerely grateful that my youngest is in a good school. I am thankful, grateful, and happy to have good friends in my life – you know who you are. And I count myself lucky that I have a strong blogging community to share with.
I made pies all day yesterday, and I’m thankful they turned out just fine. Here’s a picture of one of the pumpkins:
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and had lots and lots of pie.
As far as the situation with Jim’s mom? I will watch, wait, and be thankful for all that I have. The holidays can be difficult and I accept that. However, I am going to focus on the positive. Happy Thanksgiving from me and Maggie.
Your friend, Elizabeth