I Want Things Back The Way They Were…

I know it’s not possible…but I still want it!

I miss all my family members who are no longer here….

The holidays are coming…whether we want them to come or not! I see the ads on tv and the decorations going up in the stores. I used to love the holidays and now I don’t.

I had a huge family growing up. I was one of the lucky ones. My mother was one of 8 and my father was one of 5. I had so many aunts, uncles and cousins it was hard to keep track of all of them. But it was so wonderful having a large family and getting together with them to celebrate the holidays. We spent most holidays together, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day….and then Thanksgiving and Christmas was just our immediate family.

One by one over the past few years we have lost so many family members and we continue to lose them. I know this happens to every family and I know it is a part of growing older. I accept that. I don’t like it..but I accept it. What I have trouble accepting is the people I have lost due to them dying before their time and therefore changing the way we celebrate or actually not celebrate anymore.

My oldest child and I were just discussing what we would do for Thanksgiving this year. Would we go out to eat or just make something for the two of us here at the house? It’s just us now, her and I. My youngest lives over 500 miles away, and my middle child is gone. Many years ago we used to go to Mom’s and then we started going out to eat when it got to be too much for her. My youngest daughter would have it at her house in later years and then after she moved my son and daughter in law continued the tradition. Now none of those is an option.

It never really mattered where we had our gatherings…. it only mattered that we were all there. Everyone together, laughing, playing stupid games until someone peed themselves…usually my sister. And then later the men would all gather in a room with a tv and the women would be in the kitchen cleaning up the mess and having a little extra dessert. Now due to the death of my son and my daughter living in Vermont it leaves my older daughter and I… just us two. There will be no big celebration or gathering of family and friends.

family gatherings

this is the way it used to be…

It isn’t just Thanksgiving. As we talked the other night.. we realized this is “it” now. This is our new normal…or whatever “it” is. With most of the family gone and so many friends who have moved away…it’s just her and I. So what’s the answer? Can you rent a family? Maybe we should volunteer somewhere… I know we were lucky to have had the family we did, but sometimes having had that just makes it harder when you don’t… and I’m really not trying to play the “poor me”….”pity us” card. I’m just asking where does that leave us…

What do other people do? I know we can’t be the only ones that this has happened to. Maybe we should advertise in the paper… we can’t be the only two that are alone. And I know I am not alone. I have my daughter here, thank goodness. But what if I didn’t? I like spending time alone and have done it for a long time now. That isn’t what we are talking about here. I’m talking about not having my people anymore. Not having our family gatherings anymore. This is the time of the year you spend with family and we don’t have any to spend it with…living here in the area. Last year I begged my niece to have Thanksgiving at her house. I just didn’t want to be alone so close to losing my son. She did of course and we had a wonderful family time together. (and just fyi, women were in the kitchen and men in the living room with the tv..LOL)

There have been few times in the past when I wished I didn’t have to go to the family gathering. I wanted to do something different…go somewhere else….spend time with some other people for a change…just once… “What’s the big deal, they won’t even miss me if I don’t go.” This is what I thought at the time. But that’s not how it is at all. I would have been missed and it would have made a difference if i wasn’t there. I know that now… I didn’t then. Why does it take us so long to realize the value of family and the people we love? Now I get it. Now I would give anything to have those special family times back.. Just one more time!

Do you get together with your family? Do you still have a large family? Do you enjoy your times together?

“Family is not an important thing, it’s everything.” ~ Michael J Fox





20 thoughts on “I Want Things Back The Way They Were…

  1. I’m lucky in the fact that my daughter in law takes charge and does it all and since she has children and now grandchildren from her first marriage we do have large gatherings. Sometimes nerve wracking but always great. Lots of things going on this year so not sure right now what will take place but I’m sure she’ll take command😜 I honestly don’t look forward to the holidays anymore.

    1. Susie, at least you have all of them if you decide you want to be with them…remember that! You are lucky….we don’t have that anymore..

  2. I understand! As a kid both my parents had big families so I had lots of aunts, uncles and cousins. I moved 3,000 miles away as an adult and missed the final years ,that is how I look at it now,of the happy gatherings. For the last 15 years I have done Thanksgiving with good friends alternating hosting. It works. We all love to cook and although we are down to just 6 it is a lot of fun. Maybe you could get together with some friends?

  3. We are so fortunate. We had a large family and most of our children (and their children) live right here in our small town. Every holiday is a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’. I realize that all this may change in a heartbeat, but for now, we are enjoying it!
    At other times, we get together with friends from church or community. (Involved in both to our eyebrows. Mostly a good thing!) 😉

    1. You are so very fortunate Diane! I was too and now I’m not…I think it is harder when you had something so special and then it is gone…enjoy your family time!

  4. I hear you Renee and I can only say, make new family. That’s how I deal with this. As I make new friends here in a new land, I invite them and I’m always surprised to find how many of them have nowhere to go for Thanksgiving. My new chosen family makes me happy!

  5. Yes, Renee, there is a Thanksgiving as long as one’s heart stays open and we are truly thankful for our health, our friends, our station in life, and our family. Though your family has become smaller, perhaps the memories of past Thanksgivings will reignite a warm spot in your heart. And, who knows, without ever planning for it, something enters your life to make it richer in this special season of the year. Hoping that this Thanksgiving exceeds your expectations.

  6. Hi Renee, Even though our family is small, I would hate not getting together for the Holidays. It must be very difficult for you two gals. I hope something pops up for you.

  7. I miss the family gatherings of my youth. We still get together with extended family a week before Christmas every year, but it’s not the same. I am grateful that I still have my mom and sisters and my sister’s kids. We do spend Thanksgiving and Christmas together.

    1. I know Michelle I miss them so much…and now it’s even worse…guess I’ll be writing a post about what we did….Thanks for commenting!

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