Thanksgiving Makes You Feel Different When You Can't Go Home

Thanksgiving Makes You Feel Different When You Can't Go Home

It really makes you think of how thankful you truly are.

Thanksgiving is usually a time where most of us look back over the past year or even our whole lives and think about what they are thankful for. This year is a little different for me. I will not be at any of my family's Thanksgiving celebration. I will not be seeing my aunts, uncles, cousins or grandparents. And seeing it written down makes it even weirder. But in a way, it almost makes me more thankful.

My whole life I have had this strong support system, otherwise known as my family. I have the type of family who doesn’t want to see you fail and even if they do not quite agree with what you are doing, they are still going to support you all the way. Not many times in my life has my family not agreed with what I have done, which is kind of nice. So, any given year I am thankful for having just about the best family in the world.

But this year I am thankful for not only that but for my family still being the best as I am 800 miles away from home. Every year I see people that go very far away for college or are in one of the branches of the military and they cannot make it home for Thanksgiving. I always felt bad for them, especially since they are missing time with their families. This year, I cannot go home because of the military. But I also have friends that go to school out of state that won’t make it home this year.

This year I am also more thankful for the time I have got to spend with my family. It has been 5 or more months since I have seen my family. Which for me, is completely out of the ordinary. But I am thankful that from January to June I got to spend the time that I did with them. I know that when I see them next I will be extremely thankful for that time as well.

This year I am more thankful than I ever have been for technology. While this time last year I was so happy for Skype so I could talk to my now husband, I am thankful that almost everyone in my family has some sort of Apple Product. This means I can ‘see’ just about everyone with one annoying dinging dialing noise away. Facetime means that my parents and brother cannot lose me that easy. But it also allows having ‘family time’ even if I am forever and a half away.

This year I am thankful for my husband who is here with me. I know some of my college friends that are out of state are not lucky enough to have their significant other, but having a friend there makes it better. While I am going to miss my family a lot on Thanksgiving Day, I know that I will get to cook a meal for us two, to my best ability. Also, I know that we can do traditions that I grew up with. Like we are going to watch the parade and put up the tree either that night or first thing the next morning. Once again, I will be thankful for that technology to be able to Facetime home and ‘see’ everyone.

This year I am also thankful for my friends. When you move this far away from home you find out who your friends are really quickly. Most drop you, but the good ones check in and make a point to remember you. I am also thankful for my new friends, while most of them have been through my online schooling, and my fellow Odyssey community writers, I am still beyond grateful.

I think that not being able to go home this year gives me some perspective on how lucky I really am. Some people are not fortunate enough to have a supportive and just all-around kind family like I do, same with my friends, and same with my amazing husband.

Not being able to go home for Thanksgiving makes you feel a different way, and it is called more thankful for what you have.

Cover Image Credit: PEXELS

Popular Right Now

A Letter To The Grandpas Who Left Far Too Soon

The thoughts of a girl who lost both of her grandpas too early.

Dear Grandpa,

As I get older, my memories are starting to fade. I try to cling to every last bit of memory that I have of you. There are certain memories that have stuck well in my brain, and I probably will never forget them, at least I hope I don't. I remember your smile and your laugh. I can still remember how your voice sounded. I never want to forget that. I catch myself closing my eyes to try to remember it, playing your voice over and over in my head so that I can ingrain it in my memory.

I always thought you were invincible, incapable of leaving me. You were so young, and it caught us all by surprise. You were supposed to grow old, die of old age. You were not supposed to be taken away so soon. You were supposed to see me graduate high school and college, get married to the love my life, be there when my kids are born, and never ever leave.

My heart was broken when I heard the news. I don't think I had experienced a pain to that level in my entire life. At first, I was in denial, numb to the thought that you were gone. It wasn't until Thanksgiving, then Christmas, that I realized you weren't coming back. Holidays are not the same anymore. In fact, I almost dread them. They don't have that happy cheer in the air like they did when you were alive. There is a sadness that hangs in the air because we are all thinking silently how we wished you were there. I hope when I am older and have kids that some of that holiday spirit comes back.

You know what broke my heart the most though? It was seeing your child, my parent, cry uncontrollably. I watched them lose their dad, and I saw the pain that it caused. It scared me, Grandpa, because I don't ever want to lose them like how they lost you. I can't imagine a day without my mom or dad. I still see the pain that it causes and how it doesn't go away. There are good days and there are bad days. I always get upset when I see how close people are to their grandparents and that they get to see them all the time. I hope they realize how lucky they are and that they never take it for granted. I wish I could have seen you more so that I could have more memories to remember you by.

I know though that you are watching over me. That is where I find comfort in the loss. I know that one day I will get to see you again, and I can't wait for it. I hope I have made you proud. I hope that all that I have accomplished and will accomplish makes you smile from ear to ear. I hope that the person I marry is someone you would approve of. And I hope that my kids get more time with their grandpa than I did because the amount I got wasn't fair.

I want to say thank you for raising your child to be the best parent ever because they will one day be the best grandparent ever. Just like you.

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn McKinney

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

To My Long-Distance Besties

"If you love something, let them go."

Having long-distance best friends is extremely difficult. Anyone who has maintained a friendship, 20 or 2,000 miles away, I am sure, would all say the same thing. It absolutely sucks (excuse my language).

I have endured the unfortunate situation where my best friend from high school lives exactly 726 miles away and when my four best friends from college graduated, they also all moved away.

To go from spending every second with your besties (we lived together) to seeing them only once every couple of months feels like a piece of you is suddenly missing. To make such a drastic change in your life definitely takes a lot of getting used to.

A long-distance friendship takes work, I will not lie about that. It tests your friendships with each and every person. You see who is really going to be there for you at the end of the day and, for this reason, I am extremely grateful for the distance. I have been so lucky to see my friends living in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Arizona, and even Canada be there for me through thick and thin almost like they are right by my side, literally.

The next negative of long-distance friendships is how quickly your phone battery dies from having to FaceTime every day. My high school best friend and I are constantly FaceTiming because obviously if she gets a new pair of shoes, she HAS TO show me. This is all fine and dandy until its only eleven in the morning and your phone battery is down to 16%.

You would think Apple would really keep us long-distance best friends in mind when they are designing their products battery life. Rude.

Don't get me wrong, there are some upsides to these kinds of friendships. When you haven't seen your best friend in eight months, getting to visit with them is just that much more exciting. You never run out of things to talk about and you get to hear every detail about what they have been doing for that long while.

Although I would do anything in this world to bring my best friends from all of their homes to Charleston, it has been such a pleasure seeing them chase their dreams. After all, you know what they say. "If you love something, let them go."

As sad as I have been watching my best friends in the world pack up their moving vans and head off to "do their thing," I would not trade my long-distance friendships for the world. I feel closer to them than ever before. Even when I don't speak to them every day, or maybe not even, every week, I know when I need them they'll be hopping on that plane.

To my long-distance best friends, I love you.

Cover Image Credit: Sarah Lynch

Related Content

Facebook Comments