Last Wednesday, when everyone was saying their goodbyes and hugging each other and happily packing their cars to go see family, I realized that I was alone for Thanksgiving.
Sometime around 830 pm, as I still sat at my desk at work, the half-day drive that I would not take hit me at full force. New York was suddenly the most appealing place in the world to me. I realized I was sitting at my desk to avoid going home to an empty house.
There is a large concentration of people whom I love in New York, and I wanted to be in their midst. I wanted to be aggravated with my parents when they yelled up the stairs to wake me up. I wanted to make coffee while dad made french toast and mom made sausage. I wanted to sit in the family room and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with my dad. I wanted to be hot and carsick by the time we got to my Aunt Jan’s. I wanted my cousin to pick the right wine. I wanted to marvel at how much my dad and his 2 brothers and 2 sisters look alike, knowing that there was one more brother in Connecticut who would complete the picture. I wanted, I wanted, I wanted… everything about the day.
I wanted to clean the house and put up the Christmas tree with my family. I wanted to not be able to wait to get back to Nashville, where it did not snow.
I rolled out of bed at about 1030 on Thanksgiving, wandered downstairs, and switched on the parade. I called home, and my dad answered. He told me what was for breakfast, and I choked out, “I’m having a nutrigrain bar.” He said, “I know you want to be here kiddo, I can hear it in your voice.” After five minutes and thirty-three seconds, we said goodbye. I couldn’t even talk, for fear it would all come rushing out.
Instead of crying on the phone to my dad, I cried when the Rockettes performed. I cried when the little marching band from Ohio performed and their drumline started rocking out like no other. I cried when I saw Grover on the Sesame Street float. I cried when I saw the Charlie Brown float. And, sitting about 10 inches from the television, I cried when Santa came.
I know I’m painting a pretty miserable little picture here, and that’s exactly how I felt.
What I am thankful for though, are my friends. Friends who made me feel a little less lonely, and picked me up and took me places, and spent time with me, cooked for me, ate with me, watched movies with me, drove aound with me, talked about important things with me, and gave me enough love to make it through.