There are a lot of first that are anticipated rights of passages: first step, first kiss, or first job but this year I am embarking upon a new first and I never wanted to be a member of this club. While I hurt, I grasp for meaning in this pain.
This is the first Thanksgiving; I will ever have without my Dad. Every year we would discuss at least two weeks prior what would be on the menu. There is typically first a phone call and then text thread dividing up the food. Everyone chooses assignments and then we set a time. Our food selections alternated between traditional American thanksgiving food, Mexican food, and sometimes good old Texas BBQ. My Dad was something of a grill master, his brisket was epic.
For the past at least ten years my house would be buzzing with noise by now. My aunt and I laughing and combining the ingredients to create my grandmothers dressing. My Dad might be checking on me to make sure I had everything I needed as he ran to the store to get a few last-minute things to make his carrot cake.
This year is quite different for so many reasons. It has been seven months since my Dad’s death. I have moved through a lot of first. Sometimes, it looks like eloquent words on a page, some days it is misguided anger, some days it is deeper connection to those hurting, other days it is tears and immense heartache. It is pain so grand that the void can only be filled hope for the future. On this first, I must purposefully pour in the beautiful memories and hold on tightly to my purpose.