Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Today is a day to be surrounded by family and good food. It’s a chance to be grateful for the people in our lives. I wanted to share how last Thanksgiving shaped the one we are celebrating today. Tuck in…this post is a long one!
Family is Everything.
Around this time last year Judd was gearing up to interview for a job that would eventually bring us to South Carolina. It was hard to even imagine us getting to this point though. While he was preparing for his interview, I was struggling with family matters. It all started last October when my grandfather’s health started to decline.
Last Thanksgiving was unusual and emotionally draining. We drove down separately from Jacksonville to spend time with my family for the holiday. I knew going into the holiday that it would be different than past years when Pop pop was healthy and everyone was there. As hard as it is to see a loved one ill I don’t regret us being there.
We celebrated Thanksgiving by bringing all the food to my grandparent’s house. My mom, aunt, Matt and I prepped everything while my grandmother, father and uncle sat by my grandfather’s bedside. We brought out some wine to lighten the mood a bit. It was a nice break for my grandmother to have us all there. We sat around, told stories and even watched as my grandmother whipped out a bottle of moonshine that my grandfather kept at the house. We made the best of a tough situation.
But still I felt selfish planning a move out-of-state when so much was happening back home. How could we leave at a time like this?
Weeks passed by and we went from the idea of moving to actually having jobs, a place to live and a moving date. While we rushed to pack up our home, my grandfather’s help kept declining. We planned to head back home for Christmas.
Christmas Eve was similar to Thanksgiving except everyone was there. My entire family. All the grandkids and even the great grandkids. We rallied for one last Christmas Eve with my grandfather even if it was under sad circumstances. Everyone took time to talk to him and he even wished us all a Merry Christmas. It was perfect as it could be.
Judd headed back Christmas day for work and I stayed back a few days to be there for my family. I struggled a lot with leaving my family to go back up to Jacksonville. My mom and I spent a lot of time talking about our decision to move and she had always said that’s what pop pop would’ve wanted us to do.
My grandfather passed 4 days after Christmas and a week prior to our move to South Carolina. He was surrounded by family up until his final breath. A week later we packed up our cars and the moving truck and headed north to our new home state. I remember feeling emotionally exhausted when we stepped into our apartment. This is it. We did it. But damn, this was hard.
The last year has been a roller coaster. Despite everything that was going on our families rallied together for Judd and I to make this move possible. Even after the move they have remained endlessly supportive. So this Thanksgiving I am thankful for a few things…
I’m thankful for new opportunities and our new home state.
I’m thankful for the tough times that strengthened every fiber of my being.
I’m thankful for both of our families who have been by our sides this last year and helped us get to where we are today.
If you read through this whole post, thank you! It’s never easy sharing personal things on the blog but it’s something I am working on. I’m so thankful to all of my readers and everyone who supports me with this blog. You guys are why I do what I do!