I ran to Target last week and began stocking up on a few things for the Holidays.  As is my custom, I bought three rolls of wrapping paper.  I thought nothing of it, except ensuring that the colors coordinated and the paper has the guidelines on the under side to make it easier to cut straight lines.

Heading back from the grocery store this morning, having just bought all the things to cook what I’m contributing to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, I started thinking about that wrapping paper.  That’s when it hit me, in my heart. Grief is real and tangible.  It is true that the heart can hurt.  I realized I had significantly over-bought wrapping paper.   I don’t have as many gifts to buy this year.  Yes, the same was true last year, but I wasn’t thinking clearly at the Holidays last year.  This year, I was on autopilot again.

But it hit. Hard. Almost took my breath away as I was driving down the road. I suppose it never really leaves us. The older I get, the more of my family I lose, the more I miss them.  Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins. My parents. It makes me love the people I love – blood family or chosen family- a little bit more.  It makes me hug longer and  hug tighter.  It makes me laugh until I cry, because this is all we get.  We get these little moments that make up our lives. And one day, it’s remembering those moments with those no longer with us that will knock us over.  JK Rowling said it well in the Harry Potter Series- the ones we love never really leave us. I think that’s true.  And even though it makes my heart hurt sometimes, I’ll take the moments and the memories over no pain, any day.

To those of you celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, may your travels be safe and your holiday filled with love and laughter. Even if the laughter is only in your head so you don’t start a squabble at the table.