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Thanksgiving used to be my favorite time of year, favorite holiday out of all of them. I think it was because my dad’s side of the family got together on Wed night and my mom’s side was an all day Thursday type of thing. I remember after school the snowy drive out to Holland to a church building to have dinner & Christmas with Grandpa & Grandma and all of my cousins. We would be there late into the night and spending time together as a family, I loved those nights. I can still hear the laughter in the back of my mind sometimes.
Thursday we would get up for church then race home to pack whatever we were bringing and head out to Holland/Zeeland to my Grandmother’s and in later years my aunts. We would have tables set up all over the house, kids tables, adult tables, food galore. This was always my favorite side of the family, we were a giant clan that would eat all afternoon, and then lace up roller skates so we could head to the skating rink. Those that didn’t make it for dinner would show up here, and that’s when people would bring their friends and significant others. It is also the place I helped my mother break her wrist one year, ahh the memories!

This is what I think of when I think of Thanksgiving. The family times, the fun, the laughter. I have lived in WI for just over 8 years now and I have gone home for Thanksgiving twice. The one year was so I could be with the family for my Grandmother VK’s last Thanksgiving, we knew it was getting close and I wanted to be there for that day that I knew she loved and made so special for us. The last time was 3 years ago because I had a high school reunion on Friday.
What I struggle with now is not that I don’t go back to Michigan, but the fact that I am not invited. Sort of like the family reunion that happened this summer that I wasn’t told about. Granted most of the time I cannot make it...but sometimes it would be nice to at least feel like I am part of the family. But, I suppose that is how it is just going to be.

Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years are super difficult for me on a family level. But I am working super hard to change that, and I am trying to focus on the things and people that make me happy instead of the things that I no longer have. I am building my family here, surrounding myself with people that I want to let into my life that together form my new family.
Last year we were moving on Thanksgiving day and were lucky enough to find a group of people that were willing to load the truck and help us fill our house. This year, no moving boxes, Wednesday night is Mel’s family wine tasting event, and on Thursday we might be having Bri over for dinner and we’ll see what the afternoon brings. Could be more people stopping by. Either way, I plan to have a wonderful Thanksgiving, whatever that will bring. And I am thankful for my definition of family.


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