HAPPY THANKSGIVING, you guys!! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it’s truly about reflecting on your life, feeling grateful and spending time with your family and loved ones. This Thanksgiving is a little different this year, as my father-in-law passed away less than two weeks ago after a five-month-long battle with pancreatic cancer. To be really honest with you guys, these have been some of the hardest months of my life. Chris moved down to South Carolina permanently to be his dad’s caretaker, and I visited as often as I could, sometimes staying down there for weeks at a time while I "pretended" to the outside world that everything in my life was fine. We (and especially Chris) are just now beginning to start the grieving process, because even if you know death is imminent, you really can’t begin to grieve until it actually happens.
One of the only positive things that came from this experience is that, since Chris and I were living apart for five months, we really cherished the time we did have together. Every moment, every hug, every day we got to be together seemed momentous and special. It made me realize how often we take the good things in our life for granted. Even something "small" like simply waking up next to your husband in the morning.
This Thanksgiving has brought a fresh perspective. I am thankful, from the very bottom of my heart, for so many things. For Mike, my father-in-law, for being a second dad to me and for raising such an incredible son. For my marriage, because despite the hardships, we are stronger than ever; for Chris’s sister Jen, my family, and my friends for being our support system (shoutout to Krista who even flew from New York to be with us at the funeral). And to you guys. When I opened up to you all on Instagram, the outpouring of love and support was truly overwhelming. I had tears streaming down my face while reading your comments, texts and direct messages. So many of you have had your lives affected by cancer, and you are not alone.
I encourage you to squeeze the people you love extra hard today. Don’t take a single person for granted. Wishing you all a beautiful Thanksgiving.