Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Holidays Are For Appreciating Your Family

Usually I am excited to begin holiday decorating and baking because November signifies that my grandparents come home from Alaska. I live in Michigan, and my grandparents own a house next door to mine. Every year, they come home for the holidays... except this year.

I am struggling with their absence this year. This is the first time in several years that we will celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas without my grandma and grandpa. And it sucks.

The last few weeks have been a harsh reminder of my grandparents' inevitable aging and declining health. Spending time with my family is so important because we truly never know what tomorrow will bring. When my mom called to tell me that my grandma was having heart problems, I felt my heart start to break, my stomach knotted and I felt nauseous. And just like that, my holiday spirit disappeared.

I am trying to stay positive and realize that my grandmother is doing what is necessary to gain her health back. I am so grateful to her amazing cardiac doctors in Alaska, but my brain floods with memories of years past. Memories of my grandma being a perfectionist and spending hours wrapping christmas presents, before placing beautiful ribbons and bows on each package. Even my daughters are careful when opening her beautiful works of art.

Guilt weighs on me that I didn't spend as much time as possible with them when they were home. I am putting my faith in the universe that my grandparents will be around for a few more years, so I can spend more time with them and cherish every moment. 

Our time is the most precious gift we can give. I hope that everyone makes time to be with their families this holiday season. Make memories and give thanks. Hold your loved ones close and remember that the holidays are about family.

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