“Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever,” Psalm 106:1, NKJV.
Today is the first Thanksgiving I am spending motherless. I’ve heard from others that the first year of losing a loved one is always the hardest. They say things eventually get better. I hope they’re right . . .
Instead of focusing on the void in my life, I’ve decided to concentrate on all that I have and still have. One thing about me is that I am a glass-is-half-full type girl. I’ve learned that gratitude, hope, and just about everything we view in life is a matter of perspective. I could easily have a woe-is-me party. I’m an only child, and the loss of my mother has left me with great feelings of loneliness. There are times when I have to force myself not to think about the “what ifs.” What if my dad passes away as well?
If I allow that thought to linger, I will begin to feel anxious and fearful about losing another parent and truly being the only one of my immediate family left. My dad is 78; he ain’t no spring chicken! I have to make a conscience choice not to give in to worry and fear, but to be grateful for each day that he is alive and well. Besides, my daddy is an extremely active 78-year-old in good health. He’s on the go so much I can hardly keep up with him!
I know there will be a day when I’ll once again sit on the front pew, but there’s no reason to dwell on and react emotionally to something that has not occurred. I choose to be thankful in this moment, even with the losses that have occurred this year because I can. I refuse to grumble. Yes, I very much feel the impact of my mother not being here, but the truth of the matter is that I am abundantly blessed. Among many other things, I give thanks for:
The wonderful memories I have of my mom to cherish.
The values that were instilled in me during childhood.
My father living in Columbus and being independent.
My hubby and children who have been blessings in so many ways.
My puppy who came into our lives at just the right moment.
My friends who have navigated through this journey of grief with me.
My extended family who checks in with me from time-to-time.
My parents-in-law with whom I have a great relationship.
This list isn’t exhaustive by any means. I could go on, but then neither of us would ever get to that delicious Thanksgiving meal. I am a firm believer that feelings aren’t always true despite how real they are in the moment. Yes, my feelings of loneliness are very real, but they are not true. I’m not alone. God is love and He has surrounded me with people who are extensions of His love. Today, I get to be with some of them.
There will be no pouting today, only praise. I’ve made a choice to be thankful. Will you join me in thanking God for all that is instead of focusing on what isn’t? He’s too good for us not to!