Thank you to everyone who commented on Bennett's previous post. He really appreciated each comment and encouragement regarding his writing. I also enjoyed reading them and my mother's heart swelled with pride seeing all the accolades sent his way. That piece of writing was from a school assignment that just happened to come along during the anniversary week of Phil's passing. His teacher had been giving the students one word starters for narrative stories to begin from. Bennett had worked with the words "help" and "hurt" previously and fate brought him to "loss" the day he posted on my blog. He told me about having written about his dad and cautioned me against reading it, not wanting me to get sad. But I loved it when I read it and I wasn't sad at all. I remain very happy about the progress he's made and his ability to share his feeling both verbally and in written form. I am most proud of the incredible insight he's shown into his inner life. It bodes well for his future.
A year ago today I was in world of hurt. Phil had died a little over a week earlier, I had just thrown together a somewhat hasty memorial service due to the impending holiday season and the long siege of his illness and the culmination of the days and weeks and months of fatigue came home to rest on me with a surreal finality. My best friend from Washington, Tricia, had stayed behind to mop up and take care of me and the kids and we had chosen to eat out instead of cook. I was way beyond spending anymore time with my family or friends and we thought eating at a local restaurant would be easiest. What a nightmare. The noise and banter of the other diners was just the beginning. We were so out of place in our grief. We had no business being in public let alone, joining in this most familial of holidays. It was brutal and to a person we couldn't wait to get out of there.
Now it's one year later and I am hosting Thanksgiving in my new home, expecting 25 family and a few friends and I am in a good place. I've survived my year of firsts and am moving into my future with optimism. If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I've always had a grateful heart amidst the trials. On this day, as ever, I am thankful for the steadfast people who walked with me this last year, sharing my inner life and the pain and grief there. Your love and compassion, words and silences, your steady presence and understanding of my anguish have helped me heal. You have made all the difference and I love you. Thank you!