Thanksgiving morning 2013, I had little sleep from talking face to face to my dad until 2:30 a.m. It was after 3:00 a.m. before I would get to sleep. However, I wasn't tired. Instead, I was excited and nervous that my dad would be at my house for Thanksgiving Day this year.
Prior to our meeting, I honestly wasn't sure if we would share dinner in our home or if we'd pursue finding a restaurant. However, since all our phone conversations and our first meeting went well, I figured it would be easier to sit in the comforts of home and enjoy a meal together. Especially since random crying would sometime evolve during any one of our given conversations!
To give a little back story about how I "prepare" for guests, my husband says I get a little crazy. Crazy might be a nice way of putting it. I like things to be picked up, clean, and everything in order. So if you live with me, you must participate in my "craziness". You should strongly consider not crossing this crazy lady if I just cleaned and then you ever so slightly do something that messes it up. I mean - c'mon -You know you won't clean it back to the way I just had it! In fact, you're probably best not to breathe in the area I just cleaned & organized. Are you getting the picture? With all that said, Todd survived the week prior to Thanksgiving & he even commented that I was oddly calm before dad's visit. It's true I wasn't even uptight about him cleaning - or not cleaning.
I welcomed my dad to our home Thanksgiving morning around 10:15 a.m. It was such a joy to open our home to him. I love our home. We already have so many memories here in a short 2 1/2 years. We were about to create new ones.
Dad looked at our family pictures that are placed around our home that have been taken through the years. Pictures of our kids, his grandchildren, whom he had yet to meet. We talked of items that Todd and I have made or redone together that now have a purpose in our home. We hugged, held hands, laughed, cried, and talked and talked. It was good to be in my home with my dad.
Back to Thanksgiving Day..... I pulled out a few couple boxes that mom had left. Dad and I sat together as he explained the best he could about newspaper clippings, post cards and letters that were sent during the Vietnam war. We chatted over pictures of when I was little & photos of family. He told stories of working for my grandpa on the farm, high school, and his life after my mom. He had my full attention, and he was capturing my heart. My memories started to evolve from only remembering the bad things to beginning to remember the happier times.
Lunch was easy for us as it consisted mainly of snacking......crackers, summer sausage, cheese, veggies. We were saving the big meal for when Jerod & Jessica would join us later in the day. More conversation continued to take place about our lives. Just sharing story after story. My dad and husband get along great!
The middle of the afternoon came and Jerod & Jessica arrived. Dad was about to meet our son for the first time. I think they were both quickly smitten with one another. Conversation came easily between the two. Trucks, motors, guitars, music, guns.....I think they could talk all day. I know Jerod was having fun since I noticed his phone never came out of his pocket for hours - and I mean hours - that day.
We had a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner that evening gathered around our dining room table. What a joy to share a meal together. Even with little sleep, the day went fast. I don't even remember what time everyone left because after 12:30 a.m., what difference does it make? =)
Once during a phone conversation prior to our meeting, dad had begun to apologize for not being a part of my life or the fact he didn't pursue me. I stopped him and said - In our house, we have a sign that says "It Is What It Is". Todd & I live by that saying. Sometimes there is nothing you can do about a situation. It is what it is. You've got to deal with it and move on. I told dad this is how I feel about our past. We can't do anything about what did or didn't happen, but from this point forward we certainly have the ability to make the right choices. It is what it is but so far it's all good!