A taste of FAITH, a touch of LAUGHTER.
Missing my husband, Jim, today.
Holidays are much harder now that he is gone.
In talking with a good friend today, we both agreed that holiday celebrations brought lost loved ones to mind with renewed sharpness and deep sadness because we really miss these dear ones, especially at these special times. It’s hard.
It is sometimes harder to make an effort with remaining family, especially if they have relocated, but it is also very important to try to make new traditions, and strengthen remaining relationships. That’s not an easy task.
I am alone now. Both boys are grown men, busy with their own lives, and one has a child of his own to care for. I don’t see them often due to distance or work location.
I did not grow up in a family with strong celebratory traditions. There were 5 of us kids. We were relatively poor, not very close to extended family, kept much to ourselves. I don’t remember birthday celebrations, Easter, or Thanksgiving.
I do remember Christmas, which consisted of a stocking (an old sock) each, one small main gift, usually a comic book annual, and some fruit, an apple and an orange, something we rarely ever had. Christmas was a big deal, but there was no fuss with a special dinner or guests.
When I married Jim, I married into a First Nation whose people valued celebration of every kind, especially around food. I made tentative attempts to do join with extended family, and found it overwhelming. It was not my forté, but I did try. I did it for my husband, Jim, because it was important to him. So, I learned.
Since he left this world in 2006, I found my reason for celebration had vanished. I was hurting. My sons were hurting. Jim’s family were hurting. I felt like a hurtful reminder of their loss. It was hard to celebrate. My own family was far away in another country.
No one in our immediate family really wanted to meet and mark the occasions. I think Jim’s family did better in this because of their First Nations traditions, which valued gathering around food. It was automatic.
I lost my anchor, my focus, though I did make small attempts. It took me til 2012, 6 years later, to bring our immediate family together for Christmas, to make a family meal for my boys and my granddaughter, with a small tree, some decorations and gifts. I did the same in 2013. We were healing. But only at Christmas.
Now I am thinking of Thanksgiving and I’m wondering how to heal it. So far, in past years since Jim left, I have been invited to the homes of other families, and celebrated with them. Today I was missing my own little family. I began to think that sitting and feeling sorry about that and about being lonely was damaging and wondered about how to reach out instead.
I’ve contacted a church about helping to serve dinner to the needy, and been directed somewhere to offer to help out tomorrow. I think this will help get my focus off of myself and my own needs and onto others and their needs. Nothing like reaching out, and it is, after all, a time of thanksgiving, a time to be thankful and to share blessings.
I’m going to choose to be glad for times of celebration…….