Dear Little B,
Tomorrow is a holiday here in the grand ole' US of A. I hate to tell you this; but hell, you already know 2017 is not going to be a fantastic year for you. When the sun comes up tomorrow it will be the first day in my memory as an adult (a status you are fast approaching) that it will come without the roll out of bed, fire up the oven and proceed to cook and bake for hours a meal that will last about 20 minutes. The reason is simple and yet hard to explain.
Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of joy for a wife/mother who is taking care of her family. Turkey in the oven, pies cooling on the counter, pots of vegetables boiling on the stove, the first hints of Christmas carols coming from a television off in another room battling with the sounds of a football game being watched and cheers coming from another room. It is a time for family, smiles, and even some bickering.
Today however, with only 24 hours to go, there is not an apple in site. No marshmallows to top sweet potatoes. Not a stick of butter or jar of gravy to be found. This year there are no children for me to provide for, no husband to happily stuff until he can't eat another morsel. No home to call your own. It is an odd feeling. After so many years of being the one to answer the "I want" or "I need" phase for others, it completely slipped my mind to ever want or need anything for myself.
Don't get me wrong dear one. You will have many good holidays on your journey of becoming me. You will have years so full of love you feel your heart may not be able to be contained in your chest. You will have so many laughs that it will seem your face will crack open and the tears of mirth will never cease. It's the memories of those days yet to come for you that have been filling my heart and head over the last week.
I don't think I wish to be back then and be in those moments again. Quite honestly those were the moments that defined who I am. If they could be relived over and over, I can't guarantee that they would be as special. They were precious because they were the "that one time" moments and we (you and I) made the most of them and locked them away in our hearts and minds to break out when times get really dark and lonely. (which I'm sad to say they will)
The only piece of advice I can give you in all of this dear younger me is to treasure it. What "it" you say? My answer is simple. ALL of it. Every moment you have, squeeze the most out of it. Don't be afraid to do things. In the dark of the winters night, go for a walk in the snow. Make love every chance you get with the man you love. Take in the beauty and serenity of it all. Skip rope with the kids and laugh when you all fall to the ground. Be silly and put the olives on your fingers with the kids. Have mac and cheese eating contests with your hands behind your back. Live life in every moment with those around you that you love because someday; time will slip away and loved ones will move on;
and sitting alone you won't feel so lonely because you will always have the memory of "that one time"...
Thankful for all the memories you will make,
Bigger Little B