'Tis the Season indeed...to be thoughtful and joyful and thankful and giving.
I am overwhelmed with emotion as I ponder those words today. Although I cannot put a finger on it exactly, I think it all boils down to the biggest word of all - LOVE. I am surrounded by it. From the surface and superficial to the real and amazing; from the commercial to the priceless and from the getting...to the giving.
I have a problem with love. There is no other feeling that can cause the effect of every other emotion without a word being said or action been taken - except the feeling of being without it. Love is unpredictable and uncontrollable. It requires...well...giving. And you can't give without getting. In order to get, you have to be open to receiving. Damn how that works.
When it comes down to it, the only love that is real is that of family. There are very very few people who are not relatives that transcend from friend to family. So very few. Too little few.
I love my family. I am thankful for them. I think I would be better at giving if I had my own family. I have so much to give. It just doesn't pour out like it should. If I gave more..I would get more.
Thanksgiving seemed to be easier when I was young. You show up, you eat, you go home. Then when I got older - a newlywed with a new home - I couldn't wait to host the family dinner and did so for several years in a row. If you know nothing about me, you must know now that I absolutely thrive on hosting and entertaining. Ironic, I know, for such an awkward introvert.
We lost the home and I seemed to start to lose myself accordingly as others in the family stepped up and took their own turn in hosting from their fabulous new kitchens and with their own wedding registry cookware gifts. I began to feel more isolated as they started their own families that grew larger, as did the homes to which we visited. I began to look forward to spending time with my husband's family more and more because of the tradition and the sibling interaction I was able to be a part, if only by association, as a sharp contrast to my own upbringing. When Todd's mother passed away, his sister stepped up and has done a fabulous job as the matriarch; a title and position I very much envy. Over the years and after my grandfather's passing, my own side of the family just became too extended and Thanksgiving dinner together became a thing of the past.
This year seems special. It has been one of heavy heartache and incredible miracles and blessing. So when a cousin on my mother's side suggested that I host a family get-together for the holidays, I was almost giddy with excitement. Then I was trembling in fear. My house is not complete! It is TINY! Do I even remember how to cook and clean and decorate and WOW?!?!?
Does it really matter?
What matters is that it is perfect. My uncle is (thankfully) alive and has been moved to a local LTAC hospital - close enough for my family to share a day of fellowship with us all. I am (thankfully) alive and well. My husband is (thankfully) alive and well. I am overwhelmed again, not by the task ahead of me to entertain, but with the anticipation of my modest and unfinished home coming alive with adult conversation and with the heart warming laughter of children...with LOVE.
I have so much to give. I hope it will be well received!