Tis the day before Turkey Day and all is quiet in the house…not a soul was stirring…’cause we all left Dodge.
For all those who don’t understand our “Just Thursday” here’s a RECAP:
Sanity: Still up for grabs.
This time of year…from now until the day after Christmas…is when I go emotionally insane.
(She’s at the head of the table, with my arm on her chair)
She moved up to Heaven not long thereafter.
Since then, I’ve tried to face this time period in so many ways, none of which seemed to let me avoid the emotional roller coaster ride from hell. Her anniversary is my personal hell; it’s the Thanksgiving and Christmas season that she’s not a physical part of anymore, it’s the decorations, the holiday smells and the gift buying that sends me reeling in and out of grief, depression, and wonderful happy memories. I am at the mercy of this emotional tailspin, and I can’t seem to pull myself out until Dec 26th.
December 26th seems to have now become one of my favorite days…it’s the day I can say, “It’s over.”
In 2007, Marc and I tried something new…we cancelled Thanksgiving.
It’s now called: “Just Thursday” or “The Thursday formally known as Thanksgiving.”
I just couldn’t bare to handle any more emotional drama. To force myself to forge through yet another “The Thursday formally known as Thanksgiving” would surely send me on a disturbing tailspin plunge into an inevitable breakdown and I was afraid I may not recover.
So as to avoid the Funny Farm showing up anytime soon, Marc and I made the decision that on “Just Thursday,” we would get in our car with just a wallet, a suitcase, and a map.
No reservations, no plans, and no one is expecting us…anywhere…for 10 days.
10 days of adventure.
10 days of spontaneity.
It worked beautifully. Jena was with us all the way and so were all my Facebook friends as I blogged about it daily.
So we did it again, year after year and made it an “Adventure to Nowhere” and it was so heart warming how many of you went along for the cyber-ride.
Hell Week was slowly being defeated.
It’s Hell Week in every sense of the word. Thanksgiving 2006 was Jena’s last holiday with us, the next day her lungs collapsed, and she moved up to Heaven Monday, December 4th.
Though years have past, the horrific ordeal is replayed in crystal clear clarity every “hell week.” Just seeing the date, 12/4, is a brutal reminder of the last exact date, time, and second I held my baby girl.
To know me is to know I don’t dwell in the negative for long.
“If you’re going through hell…keep on going…”
Besides, that’s the last place you’d want to set up shop.
Jena lived with so much zest for life that for me to be miserable for too long would be an insult to her passion of life and all the beauty it has to offer.
Eric seems to have come to terms with her moving up to heaven in his own way. He doesn’t need to escape from reality and take the adventure with us. Eric has a special connection with Jena…
…and a unique perspective of it all that enables him to accept what is. Though he too is heartbroken, he has been able to live life to its fullest, not wasting it on what can’t be changed. Eric is an amazing son and I learn from him everyday.
Marc and I had to find our own solution to honor Jena and survive a heartache that seems to not know time.
We knew we can’t run away from the pain but we rather re-framed it into something positive…an adventure of sorts… with Jena guiding the way.
Call us crazy, but ‘The Club’ we belong to, no parent should be a member. We don’t have a choice to go through this hell week but we do have a choice on how we will deal with it.
The pain of not having her to hold, hug and kiss will never cease but like Jena told us,“Pain is not a valid reason for stopping
…so we do our best to make new memories with our “Flying J”
She has shown us that life is beautiful and yes, a fun adventure too…and we need to pay attention to the signs.
My holiday wish for you is to: Enjoy your Turkey, enjoy your family, embrace all the love that surrounds you!
Thanks to all of you who care so much about how we are during this time…it truly has helped our hearts.
…and knowing LOVE NEVER ENDS is the best help of all.
vaughn arcaro says
that was beautifully put it brought tears to my eyes I see why my sister speaks so highly of you and ur husband hope you just thur. day is just what u wanted and needed my prayers are with u even though u don’t know me I’m not one to write much but what u wrote moved me so much I had too.
Thank you Vaughn!
Veronica (Roni) is very special to our family…she truly embodies a beautiful heart and we are blessed to know her <3 . Have a great holiday.
Amber @ Au Coeur says
Love you and thinking of you from Nantucket on Just Thursday. xoxo
Love always to you guys…miss you much!
Julie Q says
I can’t say anything more that I haven’t said to you before. My amazing, strong, loving, persevering, inspirational friend—you truly make us realize just how precious life is and how to make the best of really “rotten” situations. Enjoy your “JENA ADVENTURE”. I look forward to following you and Marc every step of the way! You are in my heart always, but especially at this most difficult time! Love you xoxo