Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Give Thanks & Count Your Blessings

We all know it's Thanksgiving this week... but as you're celebrating over food and delicious desserts and laughing and thinking about Christmas a few weeks from now...just remember that this isnt a joyous time for everyone. Life doesnt stop it's circle just because a holiday arrives. The most glorious day of the year for you, could be the most devastating for someone else. This week's going to be a little rough for my family. Both sides of it.

We just finished celebrating my great grandma's 90th's birthday. That was a great time, and ill feature her on a blog post all of her own. But just a couple days after, my wonderful Aunt Jan (great grandma's 2nd daughter) went into surgery to have a cyst on her ovaries removed. It turned out to be a cancerous tumor. I haven't been updated to the status of tests run on it yet, but she was in bad shape, having to eat and use the restroom through tubes. On top of that, her husband (Uncle Charlie, who walked me down the aisle at my wedding), isnt having the grandest time with his body either.

Thanksgiving day is my cousin Jeremy's birthday (great grandma's only son's youngest son). He was killed in Iraq in December of 2007. I'd like to write him his own blog post too. He was a handsome young man, and I am so very proud to be related to him. He always made a point to talk to me at family functions too. It was so much fun to catch up. And when i got older, we could talk about cars, and music, and school, and the future. He left for Iraq on his dad's birthday. His casket returned home on his mom's birthday. He was only gone for a month. I dont think this time of year has gotten much easier yet, as this will be year 2 without him. But i was at Aunt Debbie's house a few weeks ago and saw her hallway devoted to Jeremy. It was beautiful. It was overwelming. And while i was there celebrating a joyous occasion (a bridal shower for my cousin's soon to be wife), I wanted to cry. I have no bad memories of Jeremy. My husband never got to meet him tho. He went to his funeral just the same. I know they'd have gotten along so well. We are blessed to have Jeremy in our family. Anyone that knew him would say the same.

Those folks are on my mom's mom's side of the family, but let me tell you about her dad's side.

My pappaw passed away this past Saturday. I think the funeral is today. I wouldnt really know for sure, as i havent seen him since '95. My grandma says she and mom and aunt laura are having a private graveside ceremony tomorrow. They want me and my sister to go. My pappaw left mammaw in '95 for my youth choir director from church. Classy huh? I think the lady is nuts. Like psycho ward nuts. Pappaw's had a few strokes and had a limb amputated and got 2 forms of cancer I believe - and i'm pretty sure she brainwashed him. After he passed away, she wouldn't even give the pastor the names of his children (mom and aunt laura) or grandchildren (me and my sisters and aunt lauras daughter) to be read at the funeral. The pastor got them anyway. I imagine from Pappaw's sister - his own family wasnt even that close to him in recent years because of his wife. But i guess the hurt is all the same after his passing. Everyone says to remember the good times. I was young when he left, but i was raised by him and my mammaw. I dont even remember that much. I remember being mad and sad, because mammaw was mad and sad. And I remember being scared when his wife tried to throw my mom in jail on fake assault charges, and mom was out on the town and mammaw was at the house, and the cops showed up to take her in (the same cops that used to work with and for him - he was chief of police of our little town!), and we called mom and said dont come home! -and pappaw did nothing to stop it. Like he'd lost all sense of being a man, and let her run his life. I kinda feel sorry for him. Kinda. But he did it to himself. The whole town saw him change and pretty much ran him out and laughed at him. He showed up to the city pool one day while my sister and i were swimming - and we wouldnt even get out and hug him. That's what i remember. He was dead to me a long time ago. I forgive him for leaving - my life wouldnt be what it is now if he hadnt left - but I grieved THEN. I got over it THEN. I moved on THEN. I'm not sure mammaw ever did.

And id like to shoutout to my friends Amy and Brandy - they both lost their mom's this year. Brandy's from cancer - and Amy's from a horrible car accident. I didnt get to talk to Amy about it much, and facebook was being funny, so im not sure if i caught everything or not, but it was a reckless careless idiot driver, and he didnt get anywhere near the punishment he deserved. This is their first holiday season without their parents, and it's going to be a tough one. I think they're spending Thanksgiving together so they can lean on each other, and be there for each other, like only they can do, because they are feeling the same things.

Most of you reading this, probably arent going through this right now. You might know someone who is. You might know someone who's got it even worse, as im sure many people do. I dont ever forget that. It can always be worse. Please keep them and us in your prayers this week. Please count your blessings and be thankful for what you've been given. It can be taken away any second. Tell your friends and family you love them. Don't sweat the small stuff. You've heard it all before - but life is truly wonderful - and precious. If it wasnt, we wouldnt grieve so much when life was taken away from us. Smile y'all!


FJ December 1, 2009 at 10:17 AM  

Yes it can be worse.. It could be so much worse. That's what I tell myself anyways when tradegy hits.

Sorry about your loved ones that have passed on.

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