In a couple of hours, I'll be headed to the out-laws (ahem, excuse me, the in-laws) to "celebrate" Thanksgiving.
It's not going to be fun.
First off, Hubby's brother will be there with the new baby. The first grandchild. The first great granddaughter. The baby that reminds me off all my dear Hubby may never get to experience.
Secondly, I made the mistake of purchasing a fresh free range turkey from one of the doctors I work with. She raises them every year, and they are supposed to be delish. They run around on her farm all year, and truly do get to live the life of a turkey (until, of course, they are butchered). "How thoughtful," you might say. "How could a delicious free range turkey be a mistake?" Well, dear readers, you are not my mother in law. Nothing is ever quite good enough for her - it's a little too small, there are still pieces of feather in the skin, etc, etc. If it tastes like crap, I'll be the villain of Thanksgiving. Yay.
Thirdly, the octogenarians will be there. If I think my in-laws are bad with the baby references, they are the worst. Maybe they are going senile, and have forgotten about our losses. Maybe they are so old they just don't care about hurting our feelings. Whatever. I know it'll be painful.
Fourthly, I am now on a gluten free diet, on the advice of my acupuncturist (more on the acupuncture experience this weekend). It has been a fairly easy transition so far, but today will be hard. No stuffing! No pies! No cookies or bread!
And, last but not least, today marks four years since the death of my aunt, my mother's only sister, who was like a second mother to me. She drove me crazy sometimes because our personalities were similar in so many ways, but lord oh lord do I miss her. She was irreplaceable - throughout the many hardships she faced in her life, she never lost the joy. She LIVED, ya know? (Shortly after she died, and another family member died, we got pregnant for the first time. And we all thought "Finally. Something to be happy about." Yeah, that was short lived.)
I've spent the morning trying to figure out what I am thankful for this year, since the last few months have been really. really. rough.
And then - like a lightbulb went on in my head - I realized it's you all. I am thankful to have found such a wonderful community of survivors who hold my hand and tell me I'm not crazy, not broken, not weak. A community of people whose stories echo my own, whose dreams are the same.
I love you all, even if we haven't actually met. And I'll be thinking of you all today as you head to your own holiday meals. If you need a virtual hand to hold, here's mine.
Side note: I tried to do a google image search for hands to put a pic of a hand in here. Disturbing results, I tell ya. Don't try that at work!
(Jesus Christ, am I sappy today, or what? And I haven't even hit the wine yet! But I will, oh yes I will!)