I’m semi-drunk and stuck in the car and thoughts are swirling in my brain and so in order to purge them I’m spilling them here. Happy Thanksgiving.
We needed today, mom and me, and my brother, too, and for the most part, today was a great day.
But today was hard. It was the first Thanksgiving without Daddy.
I’ve been steeling myself up for it for a week now, ever since the therapist asked me how I planned to deal.
“I’m taking wine,” I answered. “I plan to drink wine.”
And I did. Tomorrow I’ll pay for the drinking I did today. But today I drank wine.
And I laughed. And we looked at pictures. And we ate and shared memories.
I remembered the Thanksgiving where we volunteered to feed the homeless and shut-in and Daddy and I spent the day driving around delivering meals to those who couldn’t make it out. Meals ladeled into styrofoam trays by those who have up their day in service of others.
My daddy would help those in need often to the detriment of his own self.
“You know what I’ll miss about your dad today?” Dan asked.
“How he’d always say, every year without fail, ‘y’all ever tried that fried turkey'” as if he hadn’t asked it four or five years in a row.
And he would. He would ask that every year. He’d lean in toward whomever was sitting next to him and half whisper that question as if it held some sort of secret of the universe. But really it was just his way of asserting preference for fried turkey over smoked in as nice a way as possible.
Because that’s who he was. He wasn’t the guy who ruffled feathers.
Today was the first holiday without him.
The bathroom still has his smell.
The home I grew up in is exactly the same but different. All of the memories are still there tucked away in those walls. But it’s different.
Life is different. Not bad. Just different.
Mostly I was fine today. Better than I anticipated, really.
But there was no macaroni and cheese at dinner.