Thankful Times…

This is the day in America where blessed individuals commit one of the deadly sins – gluttony: overindulgence of food, family, and football. I love the cooking side of the food…and I sure do love me some football. The family part…yeah…I’m struggling with that this year.

As you know, if you follow my blogs, I lost another piece of my heart this year when my brother, Jim, died. Of course, you have to go through all the damn firsts. So….this is the first Thanksgiving without Jim.

While many pieces of my family have passed, I am thankful.

Today I am thankful for the 34 years I shared with my brother, Chubs. He was the first of my little pack to leave me on February 10, 2008, at only 38 years old. Chubs and I actually shared a Thanksgiving tradition by watching Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. There has not been a Thanksgiving to this day without starting my morning off watching that first thing. Since my internal alarm clock never lets me sleep past 5 AM, I already indulged in my “Strike that, reverse it” today. I may have wiped away a tear or two this year.

Chubs loved Thanksgiving. It was actually his favorite holiday. I miss his gentle soul.

Today I am thankful for the [barely] 44 years I shared with my mom. My mom left me July 17, 2017, less than three hours after my birthday. She didn’t pass on my birthday, as I still feel she gave that day to me, but it doesn’t lessen the pain of the reminder. My mom was my angel on earth. Since I’m the baby and only girl, I would get lots of rocking chair time with her. You just never stop needing your mom. There are so many times I wish I could still crawl in her lap for her to rock me and take all my cares away.

Moma sure loved Thanksgiving, like Chubs. Even though I don’t like turkey, I sure miss the smell of her sage smothered turkey she would cook every year for the family.

Today I am thankful for the 47 years I shared with Jim. Jim died of throat cancer on September 21…just two months ago. My heart is still raw from his loss. More raw than losing Chubs or my mom. Jim and I did not always see eye to eye for many years. He was passive-aggressive and I was aggressive-aggressive. While I stood by his side through all of his treatments to make sure he was receiving the best medical care possible, you could still sense a bit of tension. However, the last few months of his fight brought us closer than we had ever been. We let go of our anger and focused on the times we had left together, as we did not know how much time we had. We were closer than we had ever been in our entire lives. My heart misses him so much. Radiation took his love of eating away just three months into his 19-month battle. I can only imagine the feast he will indulge in today, all the while watching his beloved Cowboys play. Don’t worry, Jim, I’ll be watching alongside you, while I fully expect you to watch my Steelers with me Sunday (since they moved my game!).

Last, and definitely, not least. I am most thankful for my sweet daddy I still have on earth with me. He is the oldest and I am the youngest. We are the bookends of the family, holding on to each other, since our book collection is now gone.

Daddy and I often talk about Chubs, Jim, and Moma. We talk about how much we miss them. Daddy talks of ‘seeing his baby’ again. I think he gets frustrated because God has not called him home yet. I tell him I still need him here with me. I’m not ready to lose them all.

As you gather around your table, please be thankful for those in attendance. Be mindful of those who look around and see an empty chair, or have empty pieces in their heart. I can relate. I am the latter. I know the feeling of being alone in a crowded room…the emptiness of those not here to share the day.

Happy Thanksgiving! Peace out, Trout!

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