Searching for gratitude

I am looking, searching really, for gratitude. Things for which to be grateful. I took a Facebook sabbath during the Thanksgiving holiday, avoiding all the happy family photos. It’s not that we are an unhappy family. We are a sad family. I took a break from Facebook and from work and went to my sister’s in the Texas Hill Country. We had a Thanksgiving dinner, sort of, Tuesday. Cornish game hen with all the traditional sides. My sister and my husband cooked the hens upside down so they weren’t done at the same time everything else was. The food was good, although some of it wasn’t very hot. We did not get salmonella. I am grateful.

I am grateful there were leftovers that my husband and I brought back home for Thursday. We set the table for just the two of us with my grandmothers china, silver, and crystal. We used the Thanksgiving placemats our daughters Sarah and Zoe made a lifetime ago. For a while we thought Zoe would launch a small business making placemats. She was obsessed with laminating every piece of paper she could mark. The leftovers were better than the original meal. Everything came out – was reheated – at the same time. I am grateful.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we had dinner with Sarah and her husband. We did not have turkey or game hen or anything resembling a Thanksgiving meal. I wanted them to come to our house because we’ve decorated for Christmas. She wanted me to come to their house because they’ve decorated for Christmas. I wanted her to come here to see our new tree – we have three now. A small one decorated all in red. The mid-size one with all of the handmade ornaments. The new, tall one, bought because we have higher ceilings now.

I wanted her to come here, so she could experience the same absence I experience with each handmade ornament I hang that her sister made. The photos of the two of them with Santa. The missing stocking.

I am grateful that Thanksgiving is over and Christmas will be over soon. I am grateful for a new tree that holds no memory of the one who is no longer here.

About Lora Brandis

I am a Unitarian Universalist minister, on-call hospital chaplain and INELDA trained death doula. I am also nana/nanny to twins Rose and James - best job I've ever had.
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5 Responses to Searching for gratitude

  1. Sandy Pierce says:

    With you in spirit, Lora and Frank….


  2. Mary Morris says:

    There is no sadness like the first Christmas without a loved one. It gets better, over the years, but Christmas is never quite the same.


  3. Dale Moon says:

    Holding you in my heart and in my thoughts. I cannot imagine what paths you must travel.


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