Our family, over the years, is getting smaller - not larger. There are no new little ones prancing around infusing the air with their laughter; with the drama enveloping each one of us in our particular family units, and as a whole, it's hard to remain optimistic and cheerful.
While it was no great loss to me to have my parents removed from the family hierarchy, I know that it did affect some, especially my grandma. By taking me in, by loving and adopting me, her own son turned his back on her. She had to lose him. And, rightfully so. There were no poor judgements made and I don't think any regrets. He's no one to want around, at all, but still, he's family. With that we lost three.
With the issues lying between my Aunt Christie and Uncle Dave... there was bound to be a family member lost. However, with his death and her person struggles... we're down another two.
Each family unit has there own struggles, and causes for concern. Each has their own reasons for not being there. Yet, the holidays don't seem to feel like holidays anymore. It's not like I remember them, anyway. Maybe that's part of growing older, and maybe things will have more life when I have tiny little feet pounding their way in front of me. Maybe it's just that the family unit is not what it once was. I mean, we can't go back to what things were, and maybe it's better this way....
It's just sad, the emptiness that seems to be there even in a full house.
I am thankful for the family I do have. For the love they have of me. I am thankful that even though we (or John more so as I ran the numbers over...) owe them so much, they don't seem to hold it against us. The same goes for all the friends he's in the same situation with as well.
I am thankful that though times are hard, there's a light always at the end of the tunnel. As long as we keep working towards that light, I think everything will be okay.
I am thankful that I am one of the lucky ones. With a Thanksgiving dinner to go to, with a roof over my head, with a car to drive. With friends, family, a husband that love me and that I love in return.
Quite simply, I am thankful for love.
I am no where close to where I thought I'd be now in my life. I am getting there. And I can't say I'd trade what I do have for what I thought I would. It's been an uphill battle, but things are - little by little - falling into place. I am determined to have it all, no matter what. I am hopeful that our love will carry us through. That no matter what dark storm clouds loom, that we can hold on to a warm ray of light that is our love, and that it will be enough. It isn't always, but I have faith for us, it will be. Our love is bright, and strong, and more real than I ever imagined possible. It is nothing trivial, it is not easily abandoned. For that, I am grateful.
I hope that all of you have wonderful Thanksgivings, and that the rest of your holidays follow in suit. I wish you all the very best, and hope your world - dark as it may be - is filled with love.