If there’s one phrase that will stand out on this blog’s new chapter it’s bound to be, “Nothing about divorce is easy.”If there’s another phrase to follow its lead, it will probably be, “I just have to get through each ‘first’ as best as I can.”
My latest hurdle to get through as best as I could was Thanksgiving.
My divorce was supposed to be final a couple of months before our court date actually rolled around and the judge signed the papers. Because I’m the kind of person who needs mental preparation, some sort of advanced notice to brace myself for a break in the norm, I spent months focusing on that particular date.
I attempted to project how I would feel in the weeks prior to that date, how I would feel in the weeks following that date, and of course, how I would feel on the date itself. When that date came and went and another one wasn’t on the horizon, I tried to focus on another general time frame. When that time frame was extended, and I finally found myself with a concrete date of divorce, I was confident I had run to ground all the emotions I could possibly confront.
However, it somehow didn’t occur to me that I would be confronting Thanksgiving a mere 6 days after divorce.
As a military spouse I’ve spent countless holidays away from my husband, Thanksgiving included. But this was different. My family was more than just geographically challenged, as I used to say when the military interrupted special occasions. This Thanksgiving my family looked completely different.
I felt blessed to have my children with me as I shared Thanksgiving with my best friend and her family who made the day special in its own right while allowing me to feel whatever it was that I needed to feel and talk out whatever it was that I needed to talk out.
On Thanksgiving Day, as I found some quiet moments to play on Facebook and add my own happy moments to my newsfeed that was already overflowing with friends’ happy moments, I was reminded by one particular status update that “there’s always something to be thankful for.”
Although I went into the holiday not feeling particularly thankful for a 6-day post-divorce Thanksgiving, I ended up realizing that there truly is always something to be thankful for.
I am thankful for my happy, healthy children who are dealing with this divorce with grace and strength and appropriate questions and acceptance and the knowledge that they are greatly loved and supported by both of their parents.
I am thankful for my parents who have been there every step of the way and answered the phone whenever it rang.
I am thankful for my dog who cuddles with me and makes me smile when he nudges my arm with his nose.
I am thankful for the job that I love, the flexibility it offers and the co-workers I love to work with.
I am thankful for my friends I call family and my family I call friends.
So it may not have been the greatest of circumstances for a holiday celebration, but underneath that sadness I still managed to uncover a wealth of goodness.
I’ll remember that as I mentally prepare myself for the next holiday hurdle: Christmas without my children.
No, nothing about divorce is easy. But I got through this first Thanksgiving as best as I could.
And I'm still standing.