I have now found myself smack dab in the middle of what can be the most dreaded time of year for someone who is grieving-the holidays. My husband and I were not Christmas people but we were big time Thanksgiving people. We are actually big food people in general and so a holiday that revolves around food was our kind of holiday. My husband is Spanish so his Thanksgiving was way different than mine and included rice and some type of "stuffing" that was actually made of beef. I would marvel at the fact that his Thanksgiving included rice and no mashed potatoes (how can you have Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes?). He would marvel at the fact that mine didn't include rice and had some weird green bean concoction. We eventually made it a multi-cultural event and both rice and mashed potatoes adorned our holiday table. Thanksgiving is followed by what? You guessed it-Black Friday. Black Friday, for a coupon and deal "addict" like my husband, is their Super Bowl. He would literally have secret websites he would go to find bootleg copies of the Black Friday adds starting as early as sometimes September. He would send them to all of his friends who would either humor him by looking it over or marvel at their good fortune of having Joel as their friend. Starting late Thursday night he would go out shopping and normally come home as the sun was rising. My girlfriend Lauren still laughs at the story of seeing Joel, still in the throws of chemo mind you, bald head and all, out Black Friday shopping at Toys R Us. He wouldn't let anything, even chemo, stop him. He loved it. I on the other hand stayed at home in my warm and comfy bed and slept off my food high all while thinking "who would be crazy enough to be out in the cold shopping?" My husband that's who! He was a nut about it yes, but his ridiculousness was always something that I secretly loved even as I was rolling my eyes in mock horror as he would bring home 10 flash drives at a time that he got at a "really good deal." All of our closest friends that are reading this are probably laughing their heads off right now thinking "Yup, that was Joel!" There was no one like my husband.
I don't know how this Thanksgiving will be for me. I don't know if I will cry the whole day or if I will cry at all. I don't know if the pain will be all consuming or it will be manageable. I never really know many times until I'm right in the middle of it. All that I know for sure is that without him, it just won't be the same.
PS-I recently did my third website posting for a Widows Might and it talks about this Thanksgiving season. Click here to check it out.