Friday, December 13, 2013

Thanksgiving Recap

Thanksgiving was bittersweet this year.  Although we spent much of the week sick, we were grateful that my mom, stepdad and youngest brother and sister were here.  We had fun playing card games and board games.  The kids made snowballs and forts.  Us moms made pies while the dads braved the freezing temperatures to check out the siding project that was temporarily on hold.  And we celebrated Sean's third birthday with the neighbors.

Turkey being injected

On Thanksgiving day, two turkeys were stuffed and injected, sweet potatoes and green beans baked, rolls toasted and cranberries boiled.  It was during these preparations that a landmine, as a friend of mine calls them, exploded (don't worry, small explosion!).  Landmines are these thoughts, emotions and memories that sneak out of seemingly nowhere, relating to the loss of a loved one.  While putting together casseroles, I had a tiny thought that crept into my head as I realized that this was the first thanksgiving we spent on the farm since Grandma's last thanksgiving.  

In 2006, after grandma had finished her chemo and was temporarily a little healthier, we flew back to Iowa with my sister, niece, nephew and (at the time, only) daughter.  We visited family, explored the farm with the kiddos, cooked yummy food and took family photos.  It was also the last time I saw my grandma.

Thanksgiving 2006

But at the forefront of my mind this year, is that it had just been a year since Grandpa was gone, and for my cousin's family who joined us for dinner, just several weeks since the passing of his daughter.  These losses were evident and raw.  Not an unexpected landmine waiting in an old recipe card.  So, even though we have countless blessings to be thankful for, sometimes the holidays are just bittersweet. 

Yep, there's kids somewhere under that blanket fort

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