Giving Thanks

Bryan and JeriThis Thanksgiving, I reflect on how very, very blessed we are.

Yes, it’s been a hard year, a year of terrible loss, grief and pain. But it’s also been a year of rebuilding, of adventure, and of the most wonderful inpouring of love I’ve ever experienced from my family and friends. I could not have gotten through this year without those I cherish, and this Thanksgiving, I think of them.

My awesome sons and I are healthy, thriving, and successful in our chosen endeavors. We have become closer and more supportive of each other, and they have helped me out with running our household and matured beautifully. I’m very, very proud of them.

We have a beautiful, comfortable house, reliable cars, and everything we need in our pantry and our closets, and can share that with friends when we see need. We also have both preventive and acute medical and dental care when necessary.

We have high speed Internet and more technology toys than we should; we’re all geeks. At the touch of a finger I can research pygmy marmosets, order flowers for a hurting friend, or watch the news from Afghanistan.

Those, though, are only material things. What we no longer have in our home is a father and a husband. While I miss Bryan intensely at times like this, I’m coming to terms with his loss. He’s in a better place, whatever that is, and he’s with us in spirit on Thanksgiving and every day. While I’d planned to grow old with him, I’m still so very, very grateful I had twelve beautiful years by his side; he loved us very much.

I also remember my father each Thanksgiving with love and honor. He left us ten years ago, 1999, on Thanksgiving day, and the world is a smaller, drearier place without his ideas, intelligence and integrity.

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared ‘neath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

      ~Garth Brooks, “The Dance”

I’m thankful for the dance: the precious years with Bryan, but also for the unmarked future, on my own but surrounded, supported by so many I love.

I wish you all a peaceful and meaningful Thanksgiving, filled with love and laughter.

8 Responses to “Giving Thanks”

  1. Eric Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jeri!

  2. Vince Says:

    Have a great Thanksgiving Jeri!

  3. steve taylor Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! thanks for the candid and beautiful perspective. :)

  4. Mom Says:

    Jer, Your “novels” may not be finished and acceptable yet but your prose, above, is beautiful. Thank you……I love you, Mom

  5. Becca Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Kate Bishop Says:

    Jeri,

    What an amazing tribute you just wrote about you. Of course I heard a woman who honors and misses her husband, still memorializes her father, is proud of the way her children have matured, and of course continues to grieve and celebrate at milestones such as this.

    But, more than that, I see a woman who has thrived through something when some people would have crumbled. I watched you in 1999 when your father passed, and you honored his passing in much the same way.

    I stand in awe of you today and always. You are a remarkable woman. It is passages like this, you not only show us what an incredible writer you are, you share what an incredible human being you are through your narration, because as the narrator, you are the overarching woman in all of these people’s lives, the veritable glue if you will.

    I honor you today and give much thanks for all that you are and are willing to share with us.

    Much, much, love and gratitude.

    Kate

  7. Aunt Carolynn Says:

    Jeri, I too am very proud of you. I think of you often and enjoy reading your comments. I had Thanksgiving dinner with my granddaughter’s dad (he cooked!!). I couldn’t help but reflect on the fact that all who are in my ‘circle’ have life, health, jobs, and a roof over their heads. God bless you and your family and may next year just make you that much stronger!!!

  8. Beast Mom Says:

    Loved this post. As always, thanks for sharing.

    -bm