The holidays are upon us. Except for my annual Thanksgiving cold or sinus infection, I generally really look forward to the holiday season. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite given the particular prominence afforded to one ginormous meal (at least in my family). Favorites -- a forkful of turkey, cranberry sauce, and sweet potato souffle. Any one of these without the others just doesn't taste like Thanksgiving. And then there's the whipped cream to pumpkin pie ratio - 10:1. If I get these two things, I'm a happy camper.
Luckily, my body decided to get its cold a week before Thanksgiving so that by the time I fly to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, the cold will all but have disappeared. I'll get the flu shot on Tuesday afternoon, just to be safe.
This year is a tough one though because I won't be spending the two central holidays (November 25th and December 25th) with the family I thought I'd be spending every holiday with until I died. The first year of that kind of shift is always the toughest.
I'm very, very thankful that I have a loving family during these times. I'll be traveling to Sarah's for Thanksgiving and Lisa's for Christmas. It was a little difficult to invite myself to Christmas but I knew I didn't want to wake up alone on Christmas day this year. While I have dear friends who would have gladly included me in their festivities, there's no replacement for being with a family who has known me all or most of my life and will welcome me with love and understanding and a listening ear if I need it. I will miss the time I could have spent with Toby and Maddy while they're here but I just don't feel strong enough yet to weather these holidays alone.
I'm a big fat sentimental baby so I give a lot of meaning to these kinds of changes and it's very painful for me. What it does remind me of, though, is that I am so lucky to have family (and extended family -- brothers-in-law, nephews, soon to be niece by marriage, brother-in-law's parents) whom I genuinely look forward to spending time with and the means to get to them when I need to the most. I hope you will also be spending your holidays with people you enjoy and love. Even if your heart is breaking.