There were two really meaningful things about Thanksgiving for me this year. Firstly, I was at my sister’s house in upstate New York. For the first time in our adult lives, we now live close enough to each other that we can do the holidays together. This is an enormous deal for me… one that makes me wish our mom was alive to be a part of it all. God, she would be so happy to see it all.
My sister’s house is out in the country, less than an hour from the Canadian border. It snowed a few inches before we arrived, so we all had a blast building snow forts and tunnels, having snowball fights and playing flightlight tag at night, and then warming up with a dip in the hot tub before heading to bed. Our dog Rosie, who is part greyhound, was in heaven to have acres to run around in and snow to play in. There was so much laughter and silliness and play. We even managed to go for a few hikes at a nearby pond and an old paper mill by the river.
On the big day, Mike cooked the turkey, my sister and I made potatoes, my nephews made the green bean casserole, my brother-in-law and I made a delicious pumpkin latte drink in the crockpot and did rolls and other little things to get dinner ready. It was such a team effort, I could not believe we got it all done so fast. And how well we all managed to work together, despite the kitchen not being the biggest. It just all went smoothly.
Of course Drew was never far from my mind these past few days. I knew he would have fit in just as well, and we would have had just as much fun. Yet, none of this would have likely been happening if I were still with Drew. We would have still lived very far from my sister, he and I. And likely not had the money to visit much.
I never would have moved to Ohio. And so in that way, to me it's as if he set all this in motion. And he’s still finding a way to put me in all the right places, from wherever he is now.
Though I missed seeing Drew’s family over this holiday, we did talk and share pictures with each other all day long. They are still every bit as much a part of my life as they had been before… just from a little farther away. And hopefully, next year, Mike, Shelby and I will even go down to Texas to visit all of Drew’s family for the holidays. Sometimes, it’s crazy how stories can unfold. I couldn’t have ever known how mine was going to go after Drew’s death, but somehow, it is actually beginning to unfold into beautiful new chapters I could have never known before. Chapters where everyone is focused on giving love, supporting each other, and just being together.