Thursday, November 17, 2011

It will be Different...
Well, Thanksgiving is one week away...this will be a unique Thanksgiving for my family--it will be different.  
Fortunately, we will have the three of us here for the holiday...there will be Joe, Jenna and me.

Sara will be spending the holiday with her husband's family in Houston.

Adam has such a short period of time off from Boston University, that flying back to Texas for the holiday would be expensive for a weekend trip.

Fortunately, I have a brother in Connecticut who is generously welcoming Adam to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with his family!
Adam with Connecticut Stoeckle--Melanie

I feel lucky to have Jenna home this year.  I feel blessed that Joe and I have kids who would like to be home with us.  But as our kids begin to truly live their own lives, it is time to rejoice in the change, and silence my selfish loss, because it will be different...

One of our most cherished family traditions of chopping our Christmas tree down the day following Thanksgiving must change this will be different.  It will be the first time it will not include the entire family.  There have been years where we had to rent a vehicle to hold our kids, their friends and of course the dogs...that won't be the case this year.  

But, our daughter, Jenna, our dogs Ellie, and Piper as well as Adam's girlfriend Heather will be will be different.  

Different isn't bad.  It can be colorful, contrasting, distinct, particular, peculiar ...but going in with the positive attitude and rejoicing in the many blessings I DO have--rather than focusing on what I am missing, I believe will make this a joyous Thanksgiving.  After all, it is also important to remember that the holiday is about giving thanks for so many things--not just family being together, but a strong faith in God, good health, love, a home, a purpose.  

If you have followed my blog, you know that I am one of six children.  We occupy six different states.  One-by-one as we left the nest for careers or adventure my parents quietly endured the change--however that manifested itself--of not having their entire half-dozen home for any holiday.  

Craig - CT; Kathie (me) - TX; Michael - FL; Mark - MA; Leenie - TN; Brian - CO
I hope I have the same courage my mom and dad had in never making me--or any of the half-dozen--feel guilty for not being able to afford to fly home, or preferring to have Christmas or a holiday with my/our own nuclear family.

I do not want my children to feel guilt-ed into spending the holidays with Joe and me.  I don't want to see them eat TWO meals on the same holiday.  I would rather delight in the time we have together...whether it is in the summer or fall, winter or spring...YES, it will be different, but I know that their love for us is not taking them away from us.  It's just their turn to live their lives.  

I know they will always know we are here for them.  I know they know that all they have to do is invite us and we will be there.  But for now, it will be different!
(L) - Ellie and Ducati next to Adam, Heather, Joe;  (R) Moose next to Sara, Ryan, me
Jenna is taking the picture
I Lasso change, and the opportunity to grow when things are different!
As a post script to this entry I want to share this quote:

"Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may  have one foot on the brakes.  In order to be free, we must learn how to let go.  Release the hurt.  Release the fear.  Refuse to entertain your old pain.  The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a NEW life.  What is it you would let go of today?" 
~  Mary Manin Morrissey
This quote resonated with me--not because I am letting go of memories or "baggage"  or "hurt" but rather launching my (our) kids into the world. 

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