Thanksgiving and I haven’t always gotten along.
That’s because it was the last day I spent with my grandpa. It was the last time I hugged him. The last time he said my name. The last time I told him that I loved him.
I could have visited him in the hospital, but I didn’t want to see him that way. I wanted to preserve my perfect goodbye.
But for the past six years, Thanksgiving has felt like a game of emotional roulette that I keep losing. Not having him there…it kinda rips me apart. Even when I’m with my family, the ache lingers.
I love this photo of my grandma and grandpa together.
I still miss him. But I think if there is one thing worse than his absence…it’s knowing that I’ve disappointed him. If he were alive right now, he’d be pulling me aside for one of his well-intended lectures. And while I don’t doubt for a second that his love for me was unconditional, I think he’d see me as the biggest dunderhogan of the bunch.
He’d be right about that, too.
This year has been full of major life decisions and I’d give just about anything for one of his hugs. To curl my feet up on the couch and listen to him tell me about Esmerelda the Mouse and Mary-Belle the Beauty Queen Cow. To giggle helplessly at Laurel and Hardy with him. To have him totally freak me out with his shark impression in the swimming pool.
I know that I have a whole lot to be thankful for in my life. I have an incredible family, phenomenal friends, and the best job in the world–writing novels for you! But Thanksgiving is still hard for me.
So what I’m most grateful for is the feeling that my grandpa would be proud of the way I’m facing down my fears.
But right now he’d be telling me to clean my room and get back to work.
I think I’ll take his advice.
Wishing all of you a very happy holiday season!