Bitter Sweet ....

janine.jpg.... is the word I use to describe the upcoming Holidays now.
Not as sucky as they've been (I hope), nor as sweet as they used to be.

Jim died exactly one week before Christmas.
Three weeks before his birthday.

My "death march" begins right before Thanksgiving, as I remember where we were that year, what we were doing, how unsuspecting we all were.
I am hoping that it's a bit (heck, I'm hoping it's a LOT) easier this year.
So far, I've only had one really bad day.
And it was .... really bad.

I doubt that it will be the last.
But one really bad day is much better than one really bad week, and so on and so on.

I am taking the kids to go visit Jim's brother and his family.  My father-in-law will also be there.  We haven't seen him since last Thanksgiving.  Jim's mom died 5 months after he did.  Also unexpected (it was a very sucky year).

I am looking forward to seeing them, but it will be very bitter sweet.  He should be there with us.  She should be there with us.
But .... that's life.
And death.
And life again.

This is the time of year when we're supposed to think about all of the things for which we are thankful.
This is the first Thanksgiving that I think I now have a longer list of what I'm thankful for, rather than a list for what I'm not thankful.
It took me quite a while to be thankful.
Truly thankful .... about anything.

And .... that's ok.
At least with me.

Who, that first and/or second year,  can be thankful about anything when their spouse up and dies?
Who can be thankful that they themselves aren't dead?
I couldn't.
Not for a very long time.

But now .... I am.
I'm thankful that Jim was in my life for as long as he was.
I'm thankful that he showed me how to love and that he loved me enough to last my life time.
I'm thankful that I still have family and friends who support and love me.
I'm thankful that I still have friends who still miss him.
I'm thankful for my children.

I am thankful for the new people who've come into my life since Jim died ..... and yet only because he died.
I'm thankful for you.

Very, very bitter sweet.
Don't you think?

The "Holidays".
A time to be cheery, be with family, and to celebrate.
And ....

....a time to be sad.

Very, very ..... bitter sweet.

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