The air's a little heavy today. A winter storm blew in overnight and a bitter wind is reminding me that it's the end of November and the end of another year is just around the corner.
My heart's a little heavy today, too. Mostly because yesterday, we had Thanksgiving dinner with the family. I know that should be a good thing, and it was. My siblings, our spouses and our kids, along with some of their kids had a wonderful meal and shared a few great memories, along with some laughs.
It was everything Thanksgiving should be. One of my nephews had the honor of hosting it at his new home this year and he worked hard to make it special. My sister drove down from Colorado and brought my beautiful niece with her. One I havent seen for several years. Another nephew brought his delightful new ladyfriend to introduce her and she effortlessly blends right in as one of us.
The food was incredible, the company was perfect and the only thing that dampened the atmosphere momentarily was my refusal to tell the Bus Driver joke. I wasn't drinking, or I might have been persuaded. We didn't stay late; people had things to do today, so everyone headed home well before sundown and the edge of the storm came.
So, with everything going so right yesterday, why am I down today? There's a short list of reasons, and of course, I've taken to Vocal to "air them out" in the hopes that it will help lighten the load a bit. Selfish, I know, to take out my holiday depression on the friends that support me here, but I know that many of you have felt your own version of it and will understand.
One of the hard things about family gatherings is that they remind us who's missing. Yesterday marked the third Thanksgiving without Mom. My nephew, Brandon and brother-in-law, Arnold, are gone, too. There have been other losses, but those are the ones that I notice the most. If you've followed my writing, you'll have some idea why.
The other thing that hit hard is that yesterday will be the last Thanksgiving Pam and I will be spending here without the need to plan a 700-mile trip. The move back to Wyoming will be a good thing for us. Kids and grandkids are there. The fishing is there. The scenery and fresh air and my heart are there. My family will not be. Some good friends will not be.
I am the youngest of the siblings and I'm no longer young. We are all in various stages of decay, and cancer is contributing to that in one of us. That trip will seem longer with every passing year, and it was a rare occasion for my siblings to visit us when we lived there before, a couple of decades ago. I hope that we'll "meet in the middle" at my sister's home as we did back then, but I know the occasions will grow fewer as time passes.
It's only fair to say that Pam has been separated from her family for a long time and she will be able to spend time with her kids and grandkids when we're back in Casper. My son is also there and I miss him. My daughter and grandkids will be just as far away as they are now. Visiting Pam's parents will be a long drive, too, and one we haven't taken in far too long.
So, today, I'm a little self-absorbed, a little teary-eyed, and the weather sucks. I'm no less thankful for the blessings I have, and I know they're many. Life will move on, and I'll take it a day at a time.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit brighter.
Thanks for listening!
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