Saturday, October 8, 2011


I'm a BIG family person.  I used to not be, at times...but I am now.  I don't know if it was doing all of the travelling that I did, moving away to go to school, being a pain in the butt teenager, or just because I truly wasn't mature enough to appreciate it.  Graham tends to think that sometimes it was because I am stubborn, independent and a people pleaser.  Either way, I have come to REALLY appreciate family, not just mine either.

I can honestly say that BOTH Graham and I feel very blessed to have the families that we do.  We feel very supported, loved and "together".  Graham has said ON MANY OCCASIONS, "I love your family.  It just feels right.  Your parents are my parents, when they're too far away to be here".  I am a very lucky woman to have a husband who loves my family and they love him.  I am even more lucky that he calls my parents "friends" and trusts them implicitly.

It is a strange feeling when you only have one family near to you.  Graham and I talk about this on occasion and wonder what it would ever feel like, if we had all three sets of our parents close by.  Most people try to tell us that especially when it comes to holidays, "it's easier and we are lucky not to have to arrange/figure out when to be somewhere and if you can't make it to one house or the other, who's that will be".  What they don't realize, if they have never been in this situation, is it can be just as hard, if not harder at times.

Have you spent 3 Thanksgivings away from your family?  Did you have to choose between one OR the other (not the actual day with one or the other, but being there at all)?  Have you ever had to tell your Mom, "Sorry, I know we were hoping to be there, but we won't see you at Christmas again this year"?  Or, "I know I've missed your birthday for the last 3 years, but you'll have to do dinner without us, we'll make sure we call though".

The sheer heartbreak when you are close to your family (families), is a hard thing to adjust to, no matter how many life events you miss.  Making that phone call or seeing them in person, to tell them, "Sorry, we just can't be there", is something that we hate.  From the heartbreak, to the look on each other's faces, to sometimes the tears that comes with it.

Both of our families, have always been VERY understanding.  If one of us or both of us are away, we either celebrate the holiday early, or late (it's not the same, but we are SO grateful that they accommodate  us), or sometimes, not at all.  It's strange.  I have a very understanding husband, who knows that the day we can afford to fly to England or Crete for Christmas, is going to have to deal with one VERY excited person, but also one who's heart will break being away from her family.

I can still vividly remember the first time I was away from my family at Christmas and how alone I felt.  I was sitting in church, in Scotland, with the family that I was an Au Pair for, crying, holding onto one of the children in my arms.  I was grateful that I had A FAMILY to celebrate with, but it was my first time away from my own, and I was heartbroken.  I spent the afternoon eating Christmas dinner with them, and the evening with 4 other Au Pairs at a cafe, reminiscing till the wee hours of Boxing Day morning.

So this weekend, it's Thanksgiving.  One of my favourite family holidays (mostly because it's my one time per year to have REALLY good food, home cooked and eat turkey and way too much mashed potatoes and gravy).  While we don't always celebrate it together on the actual day, the day that does end up working out, is one of my favourite days of the year.

This weekend, I am thankful for my families.  Both near and far.  I am thankful for the "extra" families that I have as well, friends families that have always welcomed me/us with open arms (whether it's because we were abroad or are just loved that much).

What are you thankful for this year?


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