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Thanksgiving morning

Thanksgiving morning. We wake to a text from Mom, who misses me.

Mama's text

Next comes toast in the hotel lobby with David and his dad Mark. They head off to a flag football game and I add hot water to my tea cup.

David and Mark @ breakfast

Blue skies and a mountain view from the hotel room.

view from the hotel room


I iron my shirt and talk to my parents. Dad is making sweet potato souffle, my favorite. Mom is getting ready for our family’s annual Thanksgiving morning walk to Starbucks.

Thanksgiving walk

I am grateful to be in Colorado Springs. I’m grateful we’ll get to Skype with my family back in Havertown, too.

I sit down to work on my Thanksgiving newsletter blog: a roundup of 2013’s blessings. I get two sentences in and stop.

I turn on Sarah McLachlan’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River.” Around the holidays, Dad and I drive in the car and listen to Sarah McLachlan’s Christmas album over and over.

I lie back on the hotel bed and feel the ache of the holidays. I don’t mean the stress of shopping or travel. I don’t mean the social whirl or the winter chill.

winter chill


The ache takes on different forms. Years ago it was a heartsick fear that my family couldn’t really understand me. Other years it’s been loneliness, confusion, exhaustion.

This year it’s the most beautiful of aches: the realization that I will never be able to be with everyone I love on a holiday. I’m so happy to be here with the Drapers. This family knows how to have a good time. I can’t wait to play spades tournaments and go on a scavenger hunt and toss a football beneath the Colorado skies.

good times with the Drapers

But there won’t be any sweet potato souffle. I’m not walking with my family to Starbucks while Dad gets the turkey in the oven. I can’t roast the veggies or help Mom pick the tablecloth. I can’t vie for Lydia’s attention or quote old movies with my brothers.

Isaac and Lydia

So this morning I’m grateful for time and space to feel the ache. I give thanks for what I’m missing. I give thanks for being missed.

the fam


fun with Lydia

1 thought on “Thanksgiving morning”

  1. SIGH>>>>>> Girl after my own heart, HannerLynny!!
    This was a lovely remembrance. I am wearing purple this year as well! Hah!
    Everyone is out or napping for a quiet interlude here. I am praying for my girl.
    Sooo THANKFUL for FaceTime & phones and Yew!!!
    So thankful, ThankFull….
    Love & Life in us,
    And the Hope of Glory <3

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