Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Facing the Season

The marathon month of holidays has arrived, my first without Pete. I’m hoping I can maneuver a positive path through the season.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Both of our children will be at my house for dinner, along with their sweethearts. My mother is also here, visiting from New York, holding up the dessert standard in Pete’s absence. The dinner menu remains unchanged after over 25 years. Too much else is different, so the comfort of Thanksgiving tradition holds a special appeal for me this year.

When I stop to count my blessings, I am reminded of the gifts that fill my life. Thoughts of my daughter and son launch an immediate smile. In the midst of their own sorrow, they both have been my joy, comfort, and right arm each day of this difficult year. So, too, have been their partners—I like to say I have four “kids.” My many supportive friends and family members, my home and job, and my good health rapidly complete a full and happy list of the joys and treasures left to me.

There is always much to be thankful for in life, perhaps especially after such an overwhelming loss as the death of one’s spouse. Nothing brings what is precious into sharper focus that the death of a beloved one. I will be reminded of that as I glance at his empty place and recall the dozens of happy holiday dinners we were fortunate enough to share.

Remember to tally up your blessings tomorrow. You may find you have more than you appreciated; and, perhaps, some that will be gone this day next year.