I have always been a huge proponent of gratitude. This core value of mine only amplified more after I tragically lost my childhood home in a fire over ten years ago. This year, another tragedy struck close to home that provided a grim reminder of thankfulness.
I lost my father this past Halloween after his long battle with cirrhosis and alcoholism. This Thanksgiving was the first holiday without him. It was particularly difficult since one of the last conversations I had with him was setting up Thanksgiving plans. On top of that, he was cook and chef for nearly three decades who prided himself on cooking Thanksgiving dinner for me. And, yes, it was always delicious.
However, this year I would not be able to get a taste of his delightful cooking. I wouldn’t hear his laugh while we sat at his kitchen table shooting the shit. There would be no sharing of what we were thankful for or hearing how proud he was of me.
This Thanksgiving instead served as a time of reflection. I tried tapping into my attitude of gratitude. I focused on how grateful I was to have had a fantastic father for thirty years of my life. I am thankful for all of the lessons, advice, and wisdom he shared. I am grateful for all of the laughs we shared.
As much as I miss him, I will always have those feelings, thoughts, memories, and experiences to be thankful for. Keeping those gives this holiday even more meaning for me.
Never take anything for granted.
-The Caring Counselor