I know it seems really obvious to write about family at the holidays - but that's what I'm going to do. Because there's a reason why it's obvious. There's a reason why people talk family this time of year. Nothing makes you more aware of the blessings of family like these last months of the year. Maybe it's because you see family more. Maybe it's because the absence of those who aren't there is more obvious at the Thanksgiving table. Maybe it's because sharing a first holiday season with a new addition shows us how special tradition is. Whatever the reason, Thanksgiving was even more special for me this year.
|Loving the Jenny Jump-Up.|
I realized this year that I miss my dad a little extra on Thanksgiving. He was really a Thanksgiving kind of guy and, although he wasn't the type to choose a favorite, if he had I think Thanksgiving may have been his favorite holiday. Whether it was singing "The Doxology" as a family before the Thanksgiving meal or having us all go around the table and say one thing we were thankful for (this idea was kind of met with grumblings the year he had us do it, but he and I liked it), he really got the spirit of Thanksgiving. My dad was really good at being thankful. He would laugh a little harder at my brothers' jokes around the table and seemed to smile a little bigger at his grandchildren. And I missed that a lot this year.
But once again, I was struck by the perfection of the timing of Annie's arrival into our family. Last year, just before Thanksgiving - the first one my family would spend without my dad - we announced to my family that she was on her way (except to my mom, I had announced that to her the day after the home pregnancy test came up positive). Our big news made the holiday a little bit brighter, at least for me. And this year, Annie's presence at my mom's brought some additional sweetness back to the holiday for me.
|Sitting up like a big girl.|
|Oops! Maybe we aren't quite there yet...|
As much as I wish my dad could have been there to share Annie's first Thanksgiving, I can see that having her there made his absence a little less obvious to us all. It seems God knew we needed her to fill up a little of the void he left. And for that, I am abundantly thankful.
I don't mean for this post to be a downer - because it isn't to me. Missing family doesn't always have to be a sad activity. Because missing someone just brings to light how much he meant to you to begin with. My dad meant a lot to me - he meant a lot to my family. And through missing him this Thanksgiving season, I can see the countless ways he enriched all of our lives...and will continue to enrich my daughter's life as she grows and learns about him. We have much to be thankful for this year. Oh so much. And my dad would have been the first to point that out.
|The holidays can really wear a girl out.|