As I revisit this long neglected blog - I am grateful for this past week's Thanksgiving celebration. My husband, my mom, Jack and I drove down to Virginia to be with my sister R and her family. R has seven children - her newest, baby Brian, is 3 months old. Her oldest son is 21. A little over 2 years ago, her 15 year old son David died of suicide. Baby Brian has David's eyes, he is so beautiful and such a balm for my sister's soul. She seemed happy.
My other sister, L, made it to Virginia as well with her 3 children. Her oldest son is 23 and suffers from significant and severe mental illness - bipolar and it appears schizophrenia as well. Our family has struggled with this for years, and my sister - widowed 5 years ago when her husband died suddenly and shockingly on a November night from an accidental drug overdose - well - she suffers from chronic depression and between her husband's death - really bad financial problems (drug addicts rarely leave a big inheritance behind when they die, they more typically leave a mountain of debt and her husband was no exception..) -- and her son's mental illness - it's tough. VERY tough. She lost her house this past summer and is now renting a duplex from her (former) in-laws and they are their own brand of kooky and do not like my sister ... her car is a wreck (literally - all banged up) - and that same car nearly kept her from joining us all in Virginia much to my much beleaguered mom's dismay. HOWEVER .. the spirits (literally?) intervened - my sister got her car patched up enough to make the 5 hour drive - and she and her kids made it too. Her son is now on risperdal and it's helping, a little. But right now, a little is good enough, we'll take it!
It was a nice visit. And a nice Thanksgiving. My mom and I both remarked on how it reminded us of how Thanksgiving "used to be" - before my brother-in-law died ... before my nephew committed suicide ... before we all became more jaded and quick to laugh at foolish cliches like "everything happens for a reason" (nope, some things are just random and awful and there is NO "reason" behind it, certainly no reason good enough to make it "make sense" as so many people are desperate to have happen in the wake of something truly awful) and "God doesn't give you more than you can handle" (no, I don't think He does, because I don't think he hands out bad things any more than he hands out "treats" to people are really really good and pray really really hard! What kind of God would "give" a mother a dead son, or let someone's entire family be tortured and killed while they were in hearing distance (like that doctor in Connecticut?) A really creepy one, like, from a horror movie maybe. But in my opinion, it's life that's hard, not God. And life sometimes DOES give you more than you can handle.)
But this Thanksgiving - all life gave my family was a pleasant couple of days, turkey and some fun. No fighting, no craziness - it really was the way Thanksgiving used to be. We even took a photo of all of us outside my sister's house - last time we did that was 2004 - when my brother-in-law and my nephew David were still with us.
And my now two year old? Is wonderful. Sweet, and funny, and sassy, and TALKING more and more. So smart. Such a blessing, I love him more everyday. We are talking about another one ... it's probably just talk, as I am 39 and J is 41 and Jack wasn't easy to come by. We will not be pursuing any additional fertility treatments, and truth be told, the only thing we're currently pursuing is couples counseling... but, it's going well. For the moment, we're feeling happier, both of us - and a few months ago we were NOT feeling very happy.
It was a nice Thanksgiving. And for that I am thankful, grateful and happy.