Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankful thoughts

I love Thanksgiving.  It's my favorite holiday.  I think that's because there is no greediness or worry about if someone liked the gift  you got them and no anticipation of what you may or may not be getting.  You get food and good company - at Thanksgiving - you pretty much know what you are going to eat and who's going to be around.  This was Jack's 2nd Thanksgiving - and it was a world of difference from last year.  A hard reality to face.

Last year, we made the 13 hour long drive to Denver, CO to be with my in-laws.  Jack was only 5 months old and just starting to eat solids. I was till breastfeeding and pumping and ...we were still married.  Life -but all that I knew - was great and would be great for a very long time.  And in one year - it has all changed.  I spoke with my in-laws and my family of course, and we all felt the difference. 

I went out with friends this year - the night before Thanksgiving, which they refer to as "Skanksgiving".  Jack stayed with the Hadicans so mom could go out and have some adult fun.  I realized quickly that I am not quite as young as I used to be and those long nights really hurt the next day.  So Thankgiving preparations started around 10:00.  I put in the turkey breast (didn't need a whole turkey) and started the dressin' - that's right - I call it dressing!  I cleaned up the house a  bit and played with my sweetie.  Laura and Chad (our Bestfriends) would be arriving at noon.  Jack and I could have flown to my in-laws for Thanksgiving - but flights are expensive or we could have driven to Chattanooga to be with my family - but I am not quite ready to make an 8-hour car ride alone with my Jackers, so we decided to stay in St. Louis and cozy up with Laura and Chad and start a new traditions.
Laura and Chad arrived at noon with pumpkin pie and potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce and we sat the table and began to stuff our faces.  Jack was not thrilled with the Thanksgiving feast so he ended up eating chicken nuggets of course and mashed potatoes.  I didn't take many photos - and I don't really know why. I love taking photos and did want to remember this year, but for whatever reason - I didn't take a single photo that day.  Maybe it was too hard or too painful.   Football was on in the background and we laughed and had fun but it was different.  Jack refused to nap and was asleep that night by 5:30 - he had thrown up most of his food, so I let him sleep worried he was getting sick.  Laura and Chad stayed for a bit and I am sure they were ready to go home, but they were so self-less.  Staying with me so I wouldn't be alone.  They are incredible friends.  I am completely indebted to them for all they have done for both me and Jack.

Friday we needed to get out of the house...crazy idea.  On the way home - I called our local radio station and won CARRIE UNDERWOOD tickets and that was all I needed to get a little pep back in my step!!  Saturday the furnace broke and I frantically called just about every guy I know who is somewhat handy and the bottom line - call a technician.  Thanks to John and Seth though for their help.  Ugh - single mom - big house - broken furnace = not good.  Pep left pretty quickly.  Laura and Chad came over and we hooked up tons of space heaters and bundled up - ate grilled cheese and tomato soup and watched "Love Actually."

I LOVE "Love Actually" - its' one of my favorite movies cause it reminds you that love is all around. That everyone loves someone.   Jack and I danced to the music and played on the floor during the movie - he wouldn't nap yet again.  And Laura helped me put up my Christmas tree and decorate it!  Back to the movie - I love most of the story lines in the movie, but this year one was particularly hard to watch.  The one about the secretary and boss.  You know the one where the 2 of them flirt non-stop even though he is married.  He ends up buying his secretary a gold necklace for Christmas and his wife, Karen, of course finds out.  I remember the words of the wife when she confronts the husband about giving the gold necklace to her. After the husband admits he is a fool, she responds with: "Yes, but you've also made a fool out of me, and you've made the life I lead foolish, too!"

And if I am honest - that is how I feel. I feel like a fool. I cried when she said that - because that's the perfect sentence for what it feels like when you are betrayed.  When traditions are forgotten, love is broken and lives are shattered.  You feel like all the love and trust you were giving was foolish because it was used and abused and overlooked.  And my thankfulness is quite different this year.  This year I am so thankful that this marriage will be officially over in 3 days.  I am so thankful that I know the truth now and not later. I am thankful that God has saved me from more years of pain and hurt by revealing the truth now.  I am so thankful that I have the love of friends and family and a son to dote upon.  I am thankful for an empty house with no more deceit.  I am thankful for an empty bed with no more lies or infidelity.  And I am thankful that I know this - that I gave my marriage all of me. I gave every ounce of Love I had - and so I have no regrets - I did what I should have done.  I wonder what next year's Thanksgiving will bring.  I don't want to feel foolish next year.  I don't want to feel lonely.  When I find myself getting sad that's my cue to pick up my sweet boy and dance - bake cookies - sing songs- run around - play - because although one man made me a fool - I have another man in my life who makes me more proud and more thankful than anyone else.  I am so grateful for the gift of motherhood.  I hope one day there is someone good to share parenting with - but for now I am soaking up the time we have alone.  Making sure he never feels foolish or unloved or unsafe.  Making sure he knows his value and worth.  Teaching him football - taking him to sporting events - trying to play both roles so that his life is well-rounded and fulfilled - and let's be honest - I love those things too - so win, win!

Another note from this past weekend - I saw a man in the mall with Down Syndrome the other day - he straggling behind his mom and sister, I presume.  His pants and shirt were baggy and he looked lonely - he was talking to himself.  I wondered why they didn't walk with him.  I wondered why the mom didn't alter his clothes.  I wondered why they weren't including him on their conversations.  I wondered if he knew how special he is.  I wanted to run over to him and give him a huge hug and tell him how special he is.  I wanted to go see what he liked to do and what his name was. I just stood there watching him with a painful half smile on my face.  I wanted so badly to run over, but I didn't.  I wanted him to be included.   Instead - I scooped up my sweet one and told him.  And I promised him he would never walk alone unless he wanted to.  That he wouldn't be left in the shadows or left behind.  That he would be included in conversations and that he would always be someone I wanted to talk to.  It broke my heart.  I cuddled and squeezed and loved on my sweet Jack. How can I be un-thankful for anything?  I am blessed beyond measure with so much.

So - I'll post pictures tomorrow.  Thanksgiving was good - filled with many lessons and epiphany's.  One love might be lost - but the value of the love gained is immeasurable.

Oh - and the RAMS won yesterday!!! WOOT WOOT! GO RAMS!


  1. OK...I'm crying here. Beautiful post, Brandi. I'll say it again...Jack is so blessed to have you for a mommy!!

  2. Sad for the loneliness you have to face because of a choice you didn't make. But happy for the strength you have found and the amazing mom you are to jack, and the courage to move forward each day when it is so hard!

  3. You are so fortunate to have Jack in your life. What a beautiful, beautiful gift he is. I'm so sorry for your difficult time through this holiday, but so glad you have such good friends to surround yourself with.

  4. Beautiful post and lovely thoughts to someday share with your Jack. I am thankful for reading this post today. And I am sure Jack is thankful to be so very loved.
    Stay strong...

  5. I know times get hard but you and Jack are so blessed to have one another. So glad you have such wonderful friends

  6. Brandi,
    You were not the foolish one. I'm sorry you feel that way, but truly, you are not the fool. I think you are seeing the truth in that. Kisses to Jack!!!!!