As the holidays approached this year I couldn’t help but be sad. John has been gone for only seven months, and for me it feels so recent like I’m only scratching the surface of how my life has changed.
I’ve just recently began to cry and come out of the denial stage so I wasn’t sure how my heart could handle the holidays. My 23rd birthday was October 29th and it was a horrible day accept for the morning while I signed on my new home a five bedroom old farm house on five acres. I wasn’t sure at first why God would put me, now a widow in this home, but for Thanksgiving I put it to good use. I was going to spend it in solitude and eat by myself or not at all. Then I decided to call everyone I knew and invite them to my house for Thanksgiving dinner. I got nervous the day before because I had never made a Thanksgiving dinner…and it’s kind of a big deal. My Dad came in the morning and helped me put two turkeys in roasters and a ham in the oven. My guests all arrived at different times. Aunts and cousins came early to help…I didn’t have to peel a single potatoe.
John always loved the huge gatherings that my parents would have, and he never missed one…not for anything. He loved having kids running around and listening to the stories of the old men, so maybe I hosted Thanksgiving for him. I made an effort to have all of our loved ones together, although some couldn’t make it. In all I had 32 people at my home, the home that my husband bought me for my birthday. It was a beautiful day because everyone knew that he was there with us.
On the reverse note, I invited my in laws who were excited in the beginning to come. Then a few days before Thanksgiving my mom-in-law called me to say that she and dad were going to stay home and eat just the two of them but that they would stop by after dinner. They never made it to my house that night, they stayed home and cried all night.
I think what I’ve learned so far is to go on as if John is holding my hand walking beside me, do everything just as we would have done it together because he’s still here in some way. John’s heart would break to see me crying all day on a holiday, and I’d like to keep heaven a happy place.