Most mornings, especially in the beginning, the idea of sleeping the day away was both appealing and comforting. I had no motivation to face the world in which his presence was only here in spirit, and there was also a strong force of fear breathing down my neck. I was petrified to walk the earth without his protection and to face the idea that one day, I would have to let him go. And that clinging so tightly to the past, would only make moving forward harder.
If dreading the one month anniversary was not enough, the universe had to throw in Thanksgiving as well. It felt like a sick joke having to celebrate a holiday where you discuss what you are most thankful for while mourning the loss of my father. Not only that, it was the first holiday without him.
Usually my mom’s sister hosts Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday. Anyone that knows me, knows how incredibly close I am with my family. There is always so much joy when we all get together. Last year, however, was different, and we went to Chinatown instead of going to my aunt’s house.
When we went, there was a separate table for the kids and the adults. The entire time, I talked to my older cousin and sister, while also eyeing my mom to make sure she was okay. It felt so awkward watching her without a spouse and without wedding rings on her finger. I kept imagining my father walking through the restaurant door with his big personality in tow, but of course he never showed.
At one point, my cousin, sister, and I walked to an ice cream place around the corner to grab a quick treat. I think the three of us were just ready to go, seeing as we only really talked to each other, and it was nice spending time together. We wound up getting a little lost on the way back to the restaurant, but eventually we figured it out, and found the rest of our family at the arcade across the street.
The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving were horrible, as it was the first big holiday since everything had happened, and no one knows what a first is like until it creeps up behind you.
I want you all to take the time to pat yourselves on the back because you did it. You got through Thanksgiving and even if it was hard, even if it sucked, you did it. Be proud of all that you have accomplished, because life has thrown you a curveball. Life has beaten you down, broken your heart and soul, and forced you to look into the eyes of a reality you never imagined. With all you that may be going through, your strength and determination held your hand through this painful holiday and got you through it.