Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tears in the Turkey

The holidays are upon us ... as we are constantly reminded through TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, store decorations, and the internet ... and they can be a very depressing time for many.

This year it seems that we jumped straight from Halloween into Christmas, with Thanksgiving being ignored ... or straight from "give me candy" to "give me presents" and bypassing the "giving thanks" part! Sadly it makes sense because Christmas and Halloween are retail driven, whereas with Thanksgiving, not so much unless you are a turkey farmer!

But Thanksgiving will happen. It is a warm and fuzzy (and yummy) family-focused holiday that is wonderful for those with families who can gather together for the celebration. However, we should not forget that this is not easy or possible for many, and the feelings that go along with that can be extremely complex.

Some come from a different culture in which Thanksgiving is not a part of their holidays, and they may feel left out. Some people have no families so a holiday with so much emphasis on family could certainly leave them feeling depressed and isolated. Some families are scattered far apart, and because of finances, health, time, or any other number of reasons cannot be together and they may feel sad, lonely, and even guilt-ridden. I feel their pain; they are not alone!

Some families have members who are on the other side of the world serving our country and perhaps in harm's way, so the holiday might make them miss those loved ones even more. Some will have to work on Thanksgiving and unable to share the holiday with family, and they may question if their sacrifice is appreciated. Others might have no job and no money to prepare a fest, and they may be concerned over how they will feed their family over the coming weeks and months. I feel their pain; they are not alone!

Some will be celebrating their first Thanksgiving, and I actually missed Thanksgiving with my family one year when I was in the hospital delivering my second son Tim. And sadly, some will be celebrating their last.

Some might be ill and have no energy to join the family in the celebration; they shouldn't feel guilty, but they probably will. Some families only have the strength to sit at the bedside of a frail and dying family member, with no interest in cooking or even eating a holiday meal because they are physically and emotionally drained. Some families will be grieving the loss of a loved one, and the empty chair at the Thanksgiving table will be too much for them to bear. Their hearts will be shattered all over again. I feel their pain; they are not alone!

So while you are enjoying the warmth and love of your family turkey dinner and contemplating all you have to be thankful for, remember that others may be having a difficult time just getting through the holidays. Open your hearts and let them know that they are not alone. Not everyone's Thanksgiving will look like the pictures on greeting cards!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Melanoma Mama (Jaime's mom, Donna) (Remember Jaime) (Jjem Creations) (Jjem Creations)