Thursday, November 27, 2008

Looking forward -- changes -- jcarolek

I have a habit of looking back. It's something that gives me pleasure, you know, remembering the little things that went before. Today was no exception. I took a look back at the past two Thanksgivings, and the posts I made. Thanksgiving 2006 was a non-Thanksgiving for me really, as I was glued to my work with major deadlines challenging me. I had an empty fridge and even my plan to enjoy a big Thanksgiving salad was foiled by my failure to prepare for the big event by actually going grocery shopping.

Last year I spent down in SC with my husband's family... it was bittersweet... a family still deeply mourning the loss of father and husband, Bud. And we went through the motions of the Thanksgiving that had long been a tradition there. We even put up the Christmas tree, which was my MIL's tradition of more than 50 goes up after Thanksgiving dinner... every year except 2006 when it did not go up at all. Last year she had discovered a little prayer of a poem she had tucked away some years ago. And the poem-prayer gave her some comfort.

“When Grief is New
When Grief is new it is hard to pray.
‘Thy will be done’ is hard to say.
With heart and mind numb with pain
We cry ‘Beloved, come back again.’

But can we really ask that he
Return from God’s eternity,
To suffer and grow old in years?
The selfish cry is drowned in tears,
Death comes to all, one first must go,
Oh, if he were left, he would sorrow so;
It is better that I wait awhile;
God grant, I do it with a smile.”
(Emma D Carswell)

This year has been a major year of change for me. I am very thankful for most of those changes. I have two new members of my family - a wonderful young man who is now my son-in-law and a delightful young woman who is now my daughter-in-law. I have been given the opportunity to "rise to the occasion" when, in January I was promoted at work. And I have spent much of the year traveling for work. Thankfully, this year I also interspersed "fun time" into the work travels and the rewards have been phenomenal.

This Thanksgiving I will sing and play at the service in the morning before driving up to Dad's to share Thanksgiving dinner will 14 other family members. This will be the first Thanksgiving I've had with them in, I think, at least four years.

And then the fun REALLY begins..... one more week at home, trying to wrap up a bazillion loose ends at at work and on the home front and then I fly off to Kansas City where I will take a class, hopefully pass the exam and get certified, and then... finally.... MY long awaited vacation. I will fly to CA and drive back across the country... my friend and I will take our time and see what we see. I won't have to be back to work until after the first of the year, so we plan to make the trip an enjoyable one. I have never driven across the US and I am very much looking forward to the new experience.... and to the relaxation....

Looking forward this year just seems appropriate. There are so many new beginnings in my life today and with each, there is the promise of wonderful things to come. I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving and may you look forward also to new beginnings. Changing times....

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