With the wonderful, family-filled holiday of Thanksgiving coming up this week, I wanted to acknowledge the importance of the people in our lives who won't be here to celebrate with us.
The holiday season, especially Thanksgiving, is a great opportunity to spend time with family that we don't see often and to, of course, give thanks for all of the exceptional things in our lives. It's one of my favorite times of the year. However, every year, my mind wanders to the people who are missing.
Someone who my mind tends to wander to during this time is my grandpa. He died during the spring of my senior year of high school. He was someone who I loved dearly and looked up to as a person. I am constantly missing him, but it comes up especially during the holidays.
He's the reason "The Lion King"is my favorite movie, because we watched it every time I slept over at my grandma and grandpa's house. In the morning, I would wake him up at 9 with my grandma for what we called "coffee time." He taught me how to play Sudoku and how to make Belgian waffles. He always told me that I should smile more because my smile was so pretty. That's one of the last things he said to me. I have so many amazing memories with him, and I think the simple ones mean the most.
Each year since his passing, family gatherings have begun to feel more normal without him around. However, people say it comes in waves. This is an idea that I was introduced to right after he died, and it's something that has been proven to be extremely true.
In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and come crashing down around us. We feel like we're drowning in sorrow and will hold on to anything to keep ourselves alive. As time goes on, the waves come farther and farther apart. They're still 100 feet tall, but not as frequent. We continue to hold on to a memory, object, or moment in time. Somewhere down the line, although they're still present, the waves die down, and we're left with the wonderful memory of the person we've lost.
I recognize that during Thanksgiving, it can be hard to accept the changes in family dynamics, whatever they may be. Instead of being sad or thinking negatively about the change or the absence of people, we should see it as an opportunity to celebrate the great times we had with them in the past and look forward to the possibilities of the future. It's important to be thankful for not only the good things in life, but the bad things too. Things that have taught us a lesson and made us stronger. Along with that, we should focus on and enjoy the company around us because one day, they may not be here either.
At the end of the day, we have to recognize that change is inevitable. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to think back on old memories and cherish the times we had with the people we've lost. As more and more time passes, I've noticed that the waves do get smaller, but they're still present, especially during times like this. And as much as they hurt, I don't think I ever want them to go away.