Wednesday, November 25, 2009

8

Today marks 8 months, and tomorrow is Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday, and the one with the most tradition in my family.

For decades, my great aunt held Thanksgiving dinner in her house. Their sprawling quasi-basement/bar area easily held 30 or more people, year after year, and we (my dad and I) only missed it once, when I was in college. It was a tradition that Amanda fell into easily, as her family had no strong tradition for the holiday, and it was something we were excited to pass down to Alastair.

But then my great aunt had a hip replacement. And her daughter convinced her to sell the house. And that year we were uninvited. I was devastated, and it really upset Amanda to see me like that.

Well, the un-invitation caused ripples in the family (turns out we weren't the only ones), and we were surreptitiously re-invited the next year by my grandmother. We went, taking Alastair (he was 10 months old), and had a nice time, though it was clear that we were not expected.

The following year Amanda and I decided we didn't need the heartache, and like the big trouper she was, she suggested we try forging our own tradition. We baked a turkey, we made all manner of fixin's, and we had a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner at home. A new tradition was born!

And then she got sick.

No turkey making, no trip to Greensboro. We spent the day out of town with her parents, and it was nice, but cancer is a gloomy bitch and tends to overshadow even the nicest of days.

This year we (Alastair and I) were officially re-invited to Greensboro Thanksgiving. And we were excited about it. (Ok, I was excited about it.) But now I'm fighting a cold, and our accommodations fell through. So I should be glum, but I am not (well, ok, maybe just a little bit).

Why?

Because the future is no longer just a giant black spot. That's all I could see in April and May. I tried surrounding myself with shiny objects: new car, new PS3, new fancy gaming chair, pretty young ladies. But none of it mattered. I cooked, I cleaned, I cared for my boy, and I distracted myself. Normal stuff, I guess.

I also had no concern for whether I lived or died, which made my track weekends much more interesting.

But now I see in color again. The tones are still muted, and the lighting's a bit dim, but it's there. And I can see that it's vibrant and beautiful.

For all of my family and friends, who have helped make the last two years bearable, I give thanks. For my beautiful boy, I give thanks. For the 15 years, the love, the joy, and even the sorrow of my dearest, I give thanks. And for the future, the opportunity that it holds, the new paths yet to be discovered, I give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving

8 comments:

Snath said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Adrian!

I always get a bit of the sad when I think about my son getting older. He was born on March 25th, and is 8 months old today. Not that I would ever forget her normally, but it's another way I'll always be thinking about your wife, and how much she'll be missed.

brite said...

I hope you and Alistair have a wonderful, colorful, Happy Thanksgiving!
ps.I'm really thankful that you're feeling this way!

ahamos said...

Dude, are you serious? I had no idea that Lil O was born that day.

TK said...

Happy Thanksgiving, bud. Hope it's a good one.

The Management said...

I glad to see your spirits rising Adrian. My best to all of you.

Cindy said...

This was so beautifully written! Happy Thanksgiving to you my friend.

MelodyLane said...

Mr. A, I sincerely hope you and Little A have a fantastic holiday.

Kim said...

Heartfelt hugs, my friend. I was thinking of you today, frequently. Hope to see you and Little A soon!