It is the first major holiday as a family of three. The winter holidays, particularly Thanksgiving and New Christmas occupy a special place in my heart. I love cooking and gifts and Christmas music and curling up under a blanket. I have approached this season with a heavy heart. Knowing that it was this time last year that my my ex began a journey that would lead to him walking out of our lives, has made me rethink every moment of last year’s holiday season. So, as today is the day we pause and reflect on what we are Thankful for, my thankfulness is often through the fog of tears.
Oddly, I am thankful that the decision to divorce was not left up to me. I am now able to see with clarity that I probably would have never left my marriage, no matter how insignificant I became. And due to the circumstance of how it all went down, the custody battle was non-existent, for which I am grateful.
I am thankful that despite everything, the boys and I were able to keep things somewhat normal. We stayed in our home and they have the same schools and sports teams. We kept our dogs, and even one of the cats made a strange journey back to us.
I am so very blessed that God knew what my heart needed and basically dropped a group of friends and an amazing church community into my lap when I needed it the most. I remember crying out in prayer that there was no way I could stay here because I felt so alone and disconnected from my community. It was like God stepped in and met one of my greatest needs
Lastly, I am thankful for the gift of my sons. The journey to learn how to parent them alone has been hard. We are in the middle of a challenging season with the combination of teen boy hormones, grief, and trauma. There are days I don’t think I can or want to parent them. But, guess what, at the end of the day, we are still a family and as hard as it is, they are everything to me and I am grateful for the gift of being their mom.
So, yes, being thankful is hard this year. My grief and joy are strange bedfellows. I am trying to keep my expectations low knowing that we are all very raw this year. But, Bolt, Messi, and I are showing up every day to live, to laugh, to fight, and to love.