I survived my first Thanksgiving without John.
I can't say that I am proud... because that just sounds weird. Maybe I am a bit relieved? That I didn't have a complete breakdown in front of his family.
I stayed at his parents all day.
It felt just like the Thanksgivings we have had before. The same faces. The same food. The same house and same decorations. But. It was also very different. You could see it in everyone;s faces. But no one said it. No one said John's name. Not even during the prayer. (which John's dad couldn't do and passed it on to Liz's mom).
But we all felt his absence.
It was a gaping hole.
Last year John came to Thanksgiving late because he had to work in the morning.
So, around the time he came home last year was the time I started to yearn.
Please have his gray Cadillac pull up in the driveway and let John walk through the door with his tie loose and blue work shirt untucked and jacket in arms. I would have made him a plate. But, the reality of it was he wasn't coming to dinner.
I got kind of upset. That no one mentioned him.
I guess I need to understand that not everyone can handle that right now... but for me... I needed to hear his name more than ever. I needed to to know that I wasn't the only one that was writhing in his absence. I needed to be assured that no one had forgotten. That he existed. At one point I took a nap with Annie and brought it up. As we both drifted off to sleep I had tears drip off my nose. He wasn't forgotten. He was on everyone's minds... and everyone in the house felt his absence.
Thanksgiving came and went.
I ate a lot of food. I talked with John's family. I shared stories.
By the time I left and got in my car... it was over. And I lost it. I cried all the way home. All the feelings I held in all day came out on my 30 minute drive home. Not the safest place to let it all out... but where I tend to do most of my crying anyway.
I got home. I went to sleep. For a short while.
I woke up multiple times during the night with horrible dreams, night sweats and numbness in my body. Probably from anxiety. Of course they were thoughts about John. He had invaded my mind all day so I knew he would be slipping into my dreams. It hurts to dream about John. Mainly to wake up and realize he isn't there.
In the end I survived. I made it to the day after Thanksgiving.