Here in Ireland there is no Thanksgiving day. It is thought of as a very American occasion. Christmas on the other hand, is a huge deal, with most workplaces shut for at least ten days. Family arrive home and there are celebrations and arguments in equal measure. All our focus is directed towards preparing and talking about it, and nearer the time whinging about it, and even blaming America for over commercialising it.( We are brilliant here in Ireland for blaming everyone else).
However today as I sat at my reader feed, reading blog after blog giving thanks, or not wanting to give thanks, I couldn’t but have an opinion. So here it is.
This past year for me, was a year of goodbyes. Today, for the last Thursday morning, a friend and I went to my old pals house to spend the morning with him. He leaves Ireland in four days to live in England. He was subdued and not his usual jovial self. His leaving weighing heavily on his mind. He told me he was ‘knackered’, and indeed in the week he appeared to have aged. However as the time ticked by he couldn’t help himself, and with some encouragement from us he was soon in mid flow once more, regaling us with past stories of a man on the run to mention just one, and bringing new characters vividly to life. By the time we were leaving, he was beginning to look like himself once more.
Before I took my leave I gave him the printed photos, which we had taken of him with us last week. His eyes lit up, and although his eyesight is very poor, he seemed to be able to see them well enough. He gave a big laugh remembering our photo session, and was particularly impressed with the photo of himself and my friend together. Then all of a sudden I realised his laughter had turned to tears. He began to go from photo to photo, stroking his fingers over our faces, and remarking how much he would miss us, or if you want to know what he really said, in his soft kerry accent, ‘To think I will never again see these faces, or chat and laugh with ye’. I looked at him and I couldn’t help a few tears falling. I gave him a big hug, and tried to save the moment, speaking of how lovely it would be for him to get to know his grandchildren, and to help make them a little more Irish. This notion seemed to do the trick and he brightened up. I took my opportunity to leave, assuring him I’d be back for a quick call tomorrow.
Since leaving however my heart has been heavy. You know those days when you just can’t shake off the blues. So I decided to sit and read a few blogs and what did I get? ‘Thanksgiving’. Well I can assure you I was not feeling very thankful.
However since reading, I have been thinking about thanksgiving a good bit all afternoon, and I have had a huge turnaround. I have in fact a monumental amount in my life to be thankful for. This time last year the young warrior, Daniel, was arriving home. In fact is is almost exactly this minute last year, that my friend and I waited impatiently staring out a window, for an ambulance to arrive, bringing him ‘home’. In hindsight I am so thankful that he survived the journey, and was well enough to know he was home. Thankful also that his pain was kept under control and he seemed to have no worries or fears. His family got to spend two days with him, and even more importantly two nights, where they slept on, in and around his bed with him, saying the most heartbreaking, but perfect of goodbyes.
If he had to die this was the very best it could be.
In my own life today I said goodbye to ‘Thursdays with Denis’, but I was so fortunate to have met him, and spent so much time in his company. Personally in my own life I am lucky, I have a husband of many years who is still my very greatest pal, my strength and support, and someone I love dearly, even when I hate him. I have a mother who is alive and well and continues to be an influence in my life. I have friends many would kill for, and I have a life I love. However, above all this, I have four healthy happy children, who this weekend I will be able to hug and to hold, to laugh with and chastise. As a mother I know I am so very lucky, and today I do feel grateful. The past year has taught me my children’s health is not something I should take for granted.
So today I will join my American friends, and say to you all sincerely, ‘Happy Thanksgiving’, for indeed it is important to take the time to give thanks, and even more importantly to take the time to feel thankful.
photo credit: IndyDina with Mr. Wonderful via photopin cc
photo credit: maxxtraffic via photopin cc
29 thoughts on “Thanksgiving, after that year?”
Happy Thanksgiving, tric; from across the pond! Cheers!
Happy Thanksgiving to you too. Lovely to see you posting again.
Thanks tric. i am really happy to hear from you….we go long way back in the world of blogosphere, and I respect you for all the encouragement that you provided during my early days of blogging about two years ago. Thanks a mil, my fellow blogger from Ireland.
Aw… Tric your poor old pal. You always know exactly what to say. Your posts always remind me to be grateful for everything I have.
Daniel had such a lovely good-bye. That was tough to read and think about.
Thanks Olivia. It’s not great timing this week, but then it would never be a good time.
I still cannot believe the last two years we have experienced in our world of friendship and life has changed forever. I must say for myself I am so grateful for all I have, and aware that it can change in a moment.I appreciate every day now, even the bad ones.
Happy Thanksgiving Olivia.
You can still keep in touch by mail or phone calls. I was wondering if he is on Facebook…
What is it with people who must always assign blame? I live with the world’s worst.
I’d say it will be phone calls as his eyesight isn’t great and no he is definitely not on facebook.
I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.
Love to you Tric xxx
Thanks Emily. Roll on December and Christmas. What a busy time you will have then with your house full. Enjoy.
Best of Thanksgiving to you, today and every day!
Thanks a mil. Hope you enjoyed it.
Thanks for sharing this beautiful post Tric
Thanks for reading it Irene.
Thank you for this. A few tears in my eyes – at your experiences and the reminders they bring to some of mine.
Thanks Joanne. It’s been a year to forget. But along comes Christmas and the New year and hopefully a much better future. I suppose the longer we live the more difficult experiences we live through.
It made me chuckle when you reminded your friend to help make his grandchildren a little more Irish. I also found it funny that the Irish would blame the US–I thought the US did all the blaming. 🙂 Your post was very heartwarming, and Thanksgiving should be shared all over the world. Not that we need a particular day to step back and observe the abundance we have in our lives, but it is nice to have a day where friends and family gather to stuff their bellies.
I am still laughing remembering how quickly the tears dried up when I reminded him to instill a bit of Irishness in his family.
Yes I do think I’ll take time to think ‘Thanksgiving’ next year. Maybe not a whole day, but definitely time to take stock.
We fill ourselves with gross amounts of food, so a little bit of time is actually better.
what a wonderful turnaround, tric. i know it has been a very hard year for you, in many major ways, but i’m happy you’ve found your way to gratitude for all of the good that happened too. happy thanksgiving today and everyday to you and yours –
Thanks Beth. Even on bad days we know there are others worse off. I really have a lot to be thankful for.
I still can’t “like” your posts, and I’m not sure “why”, but this post, by far, is one of my favorites. A heart full of gratitude will take us far, I believe. So, thanks for sharing an American tradition with us, my friend. I too am “thankful” for too many things to even enumerate! You are blessed!
P.S. I’m now on Facebook after a 2-3 yr. hiatus….:-)
Hopefully now this awful week is over I might create a few posts you can enjoy and ‘like’.
Welcome back to facebook. If you want to send me a link I’ll ‘follow’ you.
We celebrated Thanksgiving in a small way for the first time ever — any excuse to get the kids at the table at the same time 🙂
I think I’m at my happiest when we are all gathered around the table arguing and having fun together. Hope you enjoyed it.
Amen Tric. You have truly had a difficult year. And in finding your thanks, I’m sure there are those who were giving thanks for the laughter, comfort and cheer you brought them. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Sometimes I don’t recognise myself in my writing. I am usually such a lighthearted person. Hopefully there will be a return to the lighter me very shortly.
Thanks for always being there.
It’s my pleasure to be here. Your light heart has been carrying a lot of emotion this year. I don’t see it getting lighter. But maybe you will be getting stronger the longer you carry it.
since I have not heard from my dear elderly cousin Denis from Kerry for some time now, your story touched my heart. I am wondering what became of him. And while there are likely thousands of Denys in Kerry, and yer man is not likely the one, still it does give me a little hope I may yet still hear from him again some day soon. Thanks, Tric