On my own. Pretending he’s beside me... Le Miserables anyone?
I should probably switch to something more upbeat… there… Plain white Ts, Rhythm of Love. It’s peppy and will assist in defunkifying my brain space.
So I’m cooking my first Thanksgiving next week and have been busy gathering family recipes and plotting an epic feast. Sometimes I’m still in shock to find myself at 29 and wearing the matriarch pants in my family. Half the time I am excited about forging a new path while creating new memories and traditions. But the other half of the time I long for the past when someone “had me.” What I mean but that is this: when my kids hit their heads or scrape their elbows they reach for me, they know that I have them. They are confident that when their rapidly expanding worlds fall apart, I’ll be there to bring comfort and warmth. That feeling never goes away, the need to know that someone on this planet “has you” when you fall and get hurt. I have been feeling that ache a lot lately and I long to feel “had.”
As a young-ish adult it’s healthy to live in a rich balance between enjoying family traditions with the generation above you and forging new traditions for yourself. I feel like I got thrown in the deep end of the new traditions pool before I was ready, and well when you find yourself in the deep end too soon it’s swim or die. So I’m swimming, but I’m not totally happy about it.
I want to wrap up in a warm blanket at my parents house on their old, threadbare couch and eat my Dad’s Christmas cookies. Or walk into my Aunt Mar’s house for Thanksgiving and fill my senses with all the sounds and smells of a thanksgiving with my family in Michigan. I want to feel had and held, but instead I am the haver and holder. So I’ll be brave and make my Grandmas stuffing and my Dad’s Christmas cookies and I’ll pretend that they’re in the kitchen with me, laughing and giving advice that borders on micro-management. I can be fiercely optimistic approaching this holiday season, but I would be lying if I told you that they’re aren’t major holes left by those lost. Those holes will always be there, and by acknowledging them I will always give honor to the irreplaceable people that are well loved and greatly missed.
I also need to trust those around me to “have me” and to realize that I can’t always be strong. I need to journey back to trust, step by step. I need to trust Kel with parts of the Thanksgiving menu as well as some of the darker corners of my mind. I need to realize that all my busy-ness can never heal every hurt or prevent future wounds. And that no frenzy of work or level of perceived perfection can take me to a place half as beautiful as the wide and beautiful destination that God has in mind for me.