Counting Blessings

elt-nlt-cht-thankssgiving-1970s-version-2

A year ago, we had Thanksgiving in the hospital.  Followed by Christmas, and then New Year’s.  It jokingly became known as the “Holiday Trifecta” between us and the team at UVA.

Many of you remember that we had Thanksgiving in the hospital at the University of Virginia because just a couple of weeks before, Patrick had had a liver/kidney transplant.

The week before that, I had lost my mother.

There’s no real describing the enormity of those two momentous life events, especially when they come at you with such lightning speed.  Still, we had much to be thankful for last Thanksgiving. And small as our celebration was, it was, in fact, very much a celebration.

Fast forward to now, one year and five more hospitalizations later.  We are home this time and most thankful for that.  But we are also just plain grateful that there is a “we” and not just an “I”  who are celebrating Thanksgiving this year.  It might not have turned out this way.

Recently, though, as things seem to have become a bit more stable and less fraught on the health front,  I’ve felt my thoughts turning more towards my mother.  Because in life you must focus your priorities on the living, I never really was able to grieve my mom.  Lately,  however, I find myself suddenly gripped with her loss at unexpected moments.  Those moments pass – and believe me they are as physical a moment as they are emotional – but I suspect the next few months may be kind of rocky.  The beautiful thing, though, is that while I do miss her dearly, I can’t in all truth be sorry for her.  She had lived a long (just shy of 94 years), happy life.  She bore the loss of her husband of 60 years bravely for over 4 years. But she was ready to leave us.

I’m very, very lucky to have had her for so long and I count my blessings every day that I had two amazing parents.

So, getting back to Thanksgiving, I thought of this picture (above) and the most marvelous memories just came flooding back. Memories of the Thanksgivings of my childhood and youth. Every year, we went “next door” (we lived in the country, on a family farm) to our grandmother’s for a family get together and a feast of Dickensian proportions.  It would be us (4), my grandmother (she was my dad’s mom – my grandfather died just before I was born), my Aunt Marnie, and a handful of delightful older cousins (elderly Cousin Mary and her daughters, the Fletcher sisters). Sometimes “Uncle” Rowland, another relative, would join us, too.  It was a spirited and fascinating group. After we had feasted near to bursting from a groaning board of culinary delights, we would hoist ourselves up from the table for a postprandial walk down the lane so we would not collapse into a tryptophan stupor before our annual intensely competitive game of “Guggenheim” (you might call it Categories).

Anyway, this photo was taken in the early 1970s, actually I think it was probably in 1973, my senior year in college. That’s my mother on the left, my sister in the middle, and me on the right.  We were just heading off for our Thanksgiving walk when our cousin, Mary Fletcher, snapped this.

Of all the characters we were blessed to have with us on those Thanksgivings so long ago, my sister and I are the only ones left.  But the memories are so vivid that it’s impossible to be sad.  Instead, I know just how lucky I am to have had them and the folks who peopled them in my life.

So today, Thanksgiving Day 2016, I’m especially grateful for my many blessings. I hope you are feeling thankful on this day, too.

I leave you with this lovely prayer:

 

 

 

Advertisements

A New Home

I always try to remember to ask someone who has just purchased a Glittermoon Vintage Christmas wreath or topiary to send me a picture of it once it is in its new home.  So imagine my delight when Felicia from New York City emailed me this:

Ice Dance Wreath in its HomeIsn’t it fabulous?  I absolutely love her decorating scheme.  It is wildly different from the way my own house looks but I think her home is wonderful.  All that pink!  That huge parrot on the wall sends me.  Well, truth be told, everything in the picture sends me.

And that’s “Ice Dance” hanging on her door.  I love that she used a pale pink satin ribbon to hang it.

Felicia bought “Ice Dance” from my Etsy shop earlier this fall.  When I asked her how she found it, here was her surprising and amusing – to me anyway – response: “I found you when I was searching glitter and christmas cards at google ! I like etsy but I can never find anything on there !”

I think she chose perfectly, don’t you?

In case, you have forgotten, this is “Ice Dance”:

Ice Dance

So, from “glitter” and “Christmas cards” she stumbled upon Ice Dance.  Isn’t the internet amazing?  It still boggles my mind.

And another thing that blows my mind is how people from all over the world (!) pop in and look at this blog.  So, today, I’ve had visitors from Macedonia, Uruguay, Mexico, Canada, Sweden, Czech Republic, Ireland, Great Britain, South Africa, and the good old USA.  That’s just so far.  It absolutely amazes me.

I returned to Richmond earlier this evening from a quick trip home (my roots) to visit my mom and family for Thanksgiving.  It was a really lovely, low-key time. I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.

Black Friday came and went and I stayed home with my mom.  It was so much more pleasant than fighting those crowds (even though I am from a small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland).  I put up a card table and while she had the TV on, I sat and packaged cards and made magnets for my show this coming week in Tarrytown. I got all caught up on Bonanza, Emergency, Dragnet, and all those other shows from my early years.  It was great.  Christmas shopping can wait.

I hope that you all had a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving, too.  I have many things to be grateful for in my life, including you – my cyber friends.  Thanks so much for letting me into your homes.

PS – If you have a Glittermoon Vintage Christmas piece of your own, I would dearly love to see it in your home, too.  Email me a photo to glittermoon@me.com.  Thanks!