I deboned the turkey meat for Jana yesterday. She always did that particular task after our Thanksgiving meals. She loved fixing and cooking the dishes for the holiday, and her presence was missed yesterday. Allyson picked up on the cranberries, and Sarah covered a potato dish and dessert. We made it.
My family came to our house. It was good. We had an enjoyable day of cooking, eating, and fellowship. Shopping was done by some, football watched by others. An all-around nice holiday. I am very thankful for their presence.
It was the things missing that stuck in my crawl. We didn’t use the right plates. Jana wasn’t bustling around the kitchen getting her recipes finished. Jana’s Thanksgiving evening turkey-stuffing-gravy-mashed potato sandwich wasn’t made. And, a thousand other things that were noticeably absent…at least in my mind. She wasn’t here…
Whether I like it or not, new traditions are being formed. New ways of doing things. The kids and I all stepped up and did things this year that we haven’t normally done. This is the “new” that’s taking over. We have already decided on a new tradition, or two, to incorporate into our holiday routines.
Gathering with friends and family is important. We generally set aside the holidays to make this happen, at a yearly minimum. These times together tell the tale of the year. Who is here, and who isn’t. New babies, marriages, and love interests begin to show up. Tabs are kept on the growth of children and the abilities of our oldest.
When the list of names changes at the gatherings from year to year, it is cause for some kind of emotion. Elation for new additions, especially for the ones that coo and cry, and sorrow for the ones that have gone on. It’s family. It’s loved ones. It’s how life works.
It is now the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, if you will. I made it. Yes, it was difficult. Yes, I cried at the end of the day. I miss my wife. I am making note of the new, though. And, maybe most importantly, I am doing my best at enjoying the present.