WHEN GRIEF TRANSFORMS INTO A SPIRIT OF THANKS
BY ANTOINETTE RAINONE
Thanksgiving will always be a bittersweet holiday for me, and not because of the (bitter) cranberry sauce and (sweet) potatoes I inevitably find on my plate every year.
As the last holiday my mother and I shared together, I dreaded the holiday as it rolled around each year. It was painful for me to get through the traditions of carving a turkey, eating pomegranates, and watching “March of the Wooden Soldiers” without her. She had died the following Monday, and, some years, Thanksgiving falls on her anniversary.
With the passing of each year, though, my grief began to change. I began to think about how much Mom loved Thanksgiving, and that my dread of this beautiful day was not honoring her spirit.
I began to give thanks. And as I give thanks, my grief transforms into the realization that the special bond between a mother and daughter never dies.
I give thanks that Mom absolutely loved this holiday, and that we were given the gift to share it, one last time.
I give thanks that I have a wonderful husband and son to share this day with.
I give thanks that I have a wonderful mother-in-law with whom to share it, too.
This Thanksgiving, I give thanks that my best friend of 30 years and her family are sharing the holiday with us.
Earlier today while they were in the kitchen cooking breakfast, my sister called. She told me she had a dream of Mom eating olives, then chipped her tooth on an olive pit. Sis and I had a good laugh over that!
When I got off the phone, I decided to set the table for Thanksgiving breakfast with our friends with a new tablecloth an aunt brought us from Italy. Opening the box for the first time, I took it out to look at the most beautiful pattern... OLIVES!
What are some things you give thanks for?
No matter where we find ourselves in life, there is one thing all of us can give thanks for.
We can all give thanks for Thanksgiving.
We can all give thanks that a woman named Sarah Hale deemed the value of giving thanks important enough to dedicate 38 years of her life writing thousands of letters and editorials, pleading to have Thanksgiving recognized as a national holiday.
We can all give thanks that Sarah Hale found her wings, and that this simple woman – with her unstoppable passion and belief in the transformative spirit of giving thanks – could make such a beautiful difference in the world.
Find your wings... at any age.