For several years we’ve hosted Thanksgiving at our house. Dave’s family would travel from far and wide staying at the Weeks bed-n-breakfast, but that changed this year and we were the ones traveling. Seven of us in a van traveling all night and arriving in the Dallas, TX area Thanksgiving morning then leaving at 3 a.m. Sunday to travel back home. Seven people on a trip means more stops and the stops tend to be longer, so total round-trip travel time was 30 hours.
Of course we always love spending time with the family and this trip was no exception, but it was a much more difficult trip than I imagined. Yes, 30 hours with 6 other people in close proximity to each other is not an easy trip, but what truly made it difficult was missing Ben. We were invited to change venues this year because some family members thought it might make Thanksgiving a little easier to bear. Their hearts were most certainly in the right place and all their efforts deeply appreciated, but unfortunately it actually made Thanksgiving more difficult for me as it was yet another reminder that things were different, things were forever changed. Not that I didn’t already realize that, but not being able to scurry around my own house preparing for visitors and preparing meals gave me much more time to think of what was missing this year. For me, that distraction would have been welcome, but I’ve learned that I can’t prepare myself for those moments when grief will envelop me and my feelings weren’t the only ones that needed to be taken into consideration . Our entire family has been grieving Ben’s death and I’m quite certain that for some, the change of venue helped.
Despite the emotional difficulties this year, there were definitely some wonderful moments. This was, after all, Naomi’s first Thanksgiving and we were able to spend part of the weekend with the newest member of the family, Tsegaw. It was also Tsegaw’s first Thanksgiving and being able to spend a portion of our holiday weekend with all 3 of the youngest family members was wonderful!
The other highlight for me was a trip to Addis Ababa for Ethiopian food. YUMMY!!!!! When at home, we’re about 2 1/2 hours away from the nearest Ethiopian restaurant so I made sure that we included a trip to Addis Ababa for dinner while we were there. It was not disappointing at all.
While some of us went out for dinner, the rest made a trip to the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center to see the ice sculpture display – ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ Honestly, I heard a lot more about the resort than I did the ice display, but it was yet another opportunity to spend time doing something different as a family and fond memories were created.
Now we’re home and back into the swing of things. Lili is back in school two mornings a week and I’ve begun my Christmas shopping. We still need to decorate the house and hopefully that will happen in the next week. In the meantime though, I leave you with some pictures from Thanksgiving 2010.
|Naomi’s first Thanksgiving meal. She’s a messy eater.|
|Lili’s third Thanksgiving meal.|
|Lili and Josh watching football. Okay, Lili playing on the exercise bike and Josh watching football.|
|Naomi and her cousin Tsegaw. They are just adorable!!!!!|
|Fun at the park. The nice thing about Thanksgiving in Texas? It was warm enough to go out and play.|
|Diva in training.|
|Several attempts were made at getting a good picture of mommy and girls. So hard getting everyone to cooperate. But at least we’re all looking at the camera 🙂|
Debbie….Emma loves the pic of Lili on the bike> Your girls are sooo cute.
Debbie, I understand what you mean about being overtaken by grief sometimes. It is unimaginable for me to even think about what it's like to lose a child so I have nothing to compare to your grief. But for me there are days, even almost 4 years after she died, when I still shed tears from missing my sister. I know that things will get better for you and your family but they will never be the same. And that causes as much grief at times as actually missing the one who is gone.What a gift all of your children are and what comfort you can give to each other. It must be great having the girls for comic relief. Naomi's face when she (it looks like) is trying to catch a snowflake is priceless.I love you Debbie. We still need to find a date – probably after Christmas – when you can come and see my new place.Hugs, my friend.Bonnie