Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.
I remember Thanksgiving's from my childhood and the magic of the day. Waking up to savory smells as Mama got an early start on the day's cooking. Sitting in the floor in front of the TV watching parades. Loading up the food and the family and heading to Grandmama and Granddaddy's. The entire Dedmon clan gathering every year; an ever growing family and seemingly ever lasting tradition.
But, alas, life moves on. Some cousins (like me) scattered, making it harder to get home for Thanksgiving. The Grandparents passed one by one, and the family stopped gathering for that day in November. Mama never said, but I always suspected it made her sad. Thanksgiving had been such an important holiday to Grandmama. I'm sure Mama missed her terribly when the day came and went without her mother.
Tomorrow will be my first Thanksgiving Day without my mother.
It's been almost nine months since Mama died. Strange how much it hurts just to type those words. Mama died. But, she did. Nine months ago. I made it through Mother's Day without her to wish a happy day. I made it through my birthday without her wishing me a happy day. I'll make it through tomorrow, and I'll make it through Christmas and then New Year's, and then her birthday, and then it will be a year anniversary I never wanted to celebrate. I'll make it through, but my god I miss her.
I've been thinking and reading about grief and dealing with loss, and there is one thing I've realized. There is no time limit on grieving. It doesn't get easier as time goes on. I guess it does become easier in the sense that it's no longer a raw gaping wound; once the shock wears off it's more of a dull ache - unless you pick at it too much and find it's every bit as raw as it was 9 months ago. The months following her passing, I was so busy that I told myself I didn't have time to give into grieving, and I still don't feel like I've actually fully grieved. I'm not even sure what that means, or what I think I need. Maybe to curl into a ball and cry for a week, a month, a year...? But who has time for that? I give in to tiny cries (usually when I'm driving) then tell myself to suck it up and dry it up. I'm a busy lady, with things to do and people to see. But, inside I'm a little girl who just misses her mama.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and I will be thankful.
But, tonight I'm going to cry for my Grandparents. Tonight I'm going to cry for my cousin who chose to leave this world on a Thanksgiving Day. Tonight I'm going to cry for the family ties that were once so much tighter. Tonight I'm going to cry for my Mama. Tonight I'm going to cry...
Tomorrow I will wake up and cook so there are savory smells to smell in the house. Tomorrow I'll watch a parade. I'll talk to my Daddy and my brothers. I'll make my Happy Thanksgiving social media posts. I'll have dinner with friends. Tomorrow I'll smile. Tomorrow I'll be thankful for all of those family Thanksgiving memories. Tomorrow I'll be thankful that I have loved and been loved enough to hurt for those I've lost. Tomorrow I will remember my Mama and be happy that I had her as long as I did. Tomorrow I will be thankful.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.