My dear Ned passed away last year and this will be my second Holiday Season without him, without his love and support. I can’t say it’s been easy, rather it’s been rocky, with twists and turns, with ups and downs.
Celebrating Thanksgiving was not a tradition in Nicaragua, where I grew up, and yet, I have adopted it as my own. When Ned was healthy and strong, he would roll up his sleeves and dig into the work that came with entertaining family and friends. His 2 sons would come to visit us during the Holidays, more often than not. As I think about it, I understand now, more than then, why this meant so much to him. His kids, sometimes with girlfriends would lie on the sofa or on the floor, watching football, while he and I worked to make the house and the dinner special. I say I understand his joy now more than then because I miss looking at him wearing his apron, and rolled up sleeves, happy to please those whom he adored. I miss that feeling of family and belonging, while in those days, I was more concerned with making everything just so, with my interpretation of beautiful and perfect.
Yes, this second Holiday Season without Ned has been rocky. Did I say that already? Yes, I am adjusting to my new life, that of a woman going through it alone, at the helm, finding meaning and purpose and giving and receiving, YES!
While there have been downs, there have been ups as well. Ned used to say that I always put up a fight when challenged physically or emotionally. I think he was right. My goal has been to call out and let my friends and family know that I need them more than ever; that I need to feel their love and support. When you are physically sick, they come to you on their own. But when your pain is in your soul, you must share that and call out to them.
Luckily, my extended family, composed mostly of friends, has responded. There has not been a day without invitations for lunch or dinner or without a phone call or a text to let me know that their love, support and understanding is real and that they also receive the same from me. This last part is very important as I want them to feel that my love for them and gratitude is deep as well.
In the mornings as I am ready to start the day, I am grateful for so much the universe provides me day in and day out. The privilege of being warm and sheltered; the love of family and friends; the beauty of our surrounding; the food and nourishment to body and soul. After a night’s rest, as I peel off the blankets, even alone, I am grateful for all that the day will bring.