Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my husband's father's passing, so it was a very sad and emotional weekend for us. Fortunately, my husband and his brother were able to go to NC to visit their mother and help her through the day. They visited the Hospice where he spent his last days, and the boys were able to help my mother-in-law with some things around the house. When he got home last night, Patrick was telling me about the trip and the emotions involved. Like so many of our conversations, it ended with us both feeling so grateful for what we have - especially our children and our families.
We talk about the past as much as we do the future. I don't know if that's healthy. When we were young, we only talked about the future. But then, we were 19 year old kids who never even considered the reality that we would age and experience losses. Now, with my mother's worsening condition and Patrick's father's death, we seem to focus a lot on the past. It may not be healthy, but it is helping us grieve, I think. Of course feeling grateful is a big part of this time of year - I just hope we would feel it without the sadness and loss that reminds us to count our blessings.
With Thanksgiving coming, I've been thinking about table settings (I'll be hosting my parents, sister and her family, and Patrick's mother). Here are some of my favorites. As much as I'd love to do something like these, I'll probably do a version of the one I did last year. It's not the most amazing or intricate thing ever, but it has a lot of meaning for us (photos of our extended family from the past):
Here are some other ideas I love: