Sunday Post 98: Thanksgiving

The first Thanksgiving after Lisa died, I couldn’t sit at my parent’s dining room table.  There was something about that extra leaf – the additional chairs crowded around the dark walnut wood, the missing place setting, the stuffing she offered to make because she didn’t much like my parent’s South Carolina cornbread dressing – not on the table that year.

It was painful just to walk in their house.  There were so many good memories – and at the time, every single one of them seemed torn to shreds.

The second year, the meal was easier.  The family enjoyed conversation.  We didn’t avoid her name – but the memories shared brought more smiles than tears.  But it was still difficult to be thankful.  My focus was on what I lost, not what I had.

How do you bow your head and thank God when you feel He has taken your most valued relationship, your very best friend?

I think it starts when you stop looking within and begin looking out.  Anger is natural, but it’s also pretty selfish.

When I got to the point that I could put my life into perspective, when I could see how many others in this world had so many bigger obstacles than I had, then and only then could I find a reason to be thankful.  The real kicker came when I saw numerous others, who had suffered a great deal more than I, talking about how grateful they were for their many blessings.  I couldn’t see mine, and I certainly couldn’t see theirs.

This year is different.  This year, I see so much good.

My three girls

My good friends

All of the grandparents

Uncle Jesse, Aunt Sallie, Uncle Dash, Uncle Matt and Aunt Mel

My job and my co-workers

My church family

My home

and that’s just scratching the surface…

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  1. Thanks Bruce,
    This post meant ALOT to me.

  2. You are so correct. To be thankful is to see. The vision of life is a vision few people actually have.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  November 18, 2012

      sometimes it’s easier to see when you’ve lost something valuable.

  3. Melanie Walker

     /  November 18, 2012

    Lovely. Gratitude is truly contagious.

  4. Melanie

     /  November 18, 2012

    Focusing on the positive can sometimes be the hardest thing. Good for you for doing that. I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving holiday.

  5. Very sweet, honest and pure. I don’t know you, but I pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you feel the warmth of the one who you lost, and of those you have sitting around the table with you…..Smiles

  6. Mom

     /  November 18, 2012

    And we are grateful for you and your little family.

  7. Susan Disher

     /  November 19, 2012

    I understand…

  8. Sherry B

     /  November 19, 2012

    Thank you for your words. It is hard to be thankful “when you feel He has taken your most valued relationship.” The very morning of my daughter’s unexpected death, I had actually stopped and taken a moment to say a prayer of thanks for her. She always made me smile despite the stress of my everyday existence. Fifteen hours later she would be dead. So sometimes be thankful is scary.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  November 19, 2012

      Makes you question even the times when you give thanks doesn’t it? I read a reminder today that death is only temporary. Sometimes difficult to live with that – but I guess that hope is what keeps those of us who grieve going.

  9. Gratitude is where it’s at. Good for you for finding your way back to it after suck a severe detour. You’re an amazing example.


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