I wasn’t sure if I should blog tonight, because it is Thanksgiving night and I am not feeling very full of thanks, quite frankly. As I expressed in my post yesterday, I had every intention of holding space for sadness, and for still feeling gratitude…and I did, but if I’m honest…the sadness won out for me tonight. 

You have to understand that my dad…well, he was special.

After he died, a friend wrote to me, “I was on a few committees and boards with your dad. He was the kind of man who was quiet, and listened respectfully to what everyone else had to say. When he finally spoke, the room got quiet. Everyone wanted to hear what he had to say.”

That so perfectly described my dad. In fact, I shared that comment with my family, and Billy included it in the eulogy.

Dad was never the loudest in the room. He never needed to be the center of attention, but…he was smart, witty, and thoughtful. He was the guy who gave the toasts…and we would all stop and listen. Tonight I tried to take over this task, and despite my love of words, all I could muster was, “We miss you.”

I am so grateful for the family that was here with me tonight. I love them all so much.

Still, I was sad. 

Our world has changed…it is impossible not to skip a beat.

Mom pulled an Irish exit (can you call it that when there is no alcohol involved?) and went off to bed at seven. The rest of the crowd hung in for a bit, but overall the mood was subdued. My feeling – we all just wanted to get through it.

And we did.

After everyone left, the girls and I snuggled in together and watched Elf. Of all things, that helped…a few laughs and the warm bodies of the girls huddled close to mine…running my fingers through Ruby’s hair.

We will all be okay…but I think it is important to drop expectations this holiday season, and to be okay with whatever feelings show up. It is all going to be a jumble of gratitude, pain, joy, love, anger…

They are all real, and valid, and should be honored as such.

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