Not really feeling it this year.
I once started to read a book that was premised around Ephesians 5:20 ~ "always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ". I soon discovered that the author was fully convinced that God was telling us to thank Him for all things. She even went into describing terrible tragedies and how we should thank God for them. "Thank you, God, for that rape....for that murder....for that terrorist attack....for taking my precious Daughter from me..." Yeah. No. I definitely do not agree with that. And, if someone stood in front of me and tried to tell me to thank God for letting Vienne die, suddenly and unexpectedly, I would probably smack them in the face. I, personally, never agreed with the concept of that book and therefore I stopped reading it. It made me angry back then....it makes me irate to think about, now. First off, when you say thank you to someone, it is because they gave you something. I do not believe that God gives/causes murder and rape and tragedy. Those are all examples of sin, caused by poor choices. God did not cause sin. But, in my case, there was no sin. I do believe that God allowed it. Secondly, I know the verse does say "for everything" but I believe, as do most, that it means to be thankful in all things...even the hard things. But, I still will never thank Him for allowing her to die. No. Never. I don't appreciate statements like "God will do something good with this"..."Something good will come out of this"....Believe me, I will never ever say "oh, I see, Vienne had to die for this good thing to happen". Or, if I do, I will still never be thankful for that. Thankful that she died so that something good can happen? Uh, no.
What's irritating and ironic is that some good things have happened since she died...or even as a consequence to her death. But, I am not thankful for them. I am bitter towards them. Things like ~ relationships have been built or strengthened as a result of her passing...community has come together and leaned on one another, when maybe they hadn't before... my and Mark's relationship has not shattered, but maybe has even strengthened a bit...a home was found for us immediately, just two blocks from my sister...etc. Don't get me wrong, the relationships are great, a stronger marriage is great and I wouldn't be able to survive without these two important things. I would just choose to struggle through those and have my Vienne back, though, if I were given the choice.
So, the holidays. I am definitely not feeling so merry this year. It's strange for me to reach Thanksgiving and not be playing Christmas music already. If you know me, you know I am typically a Christmas fanatic - the music, decor, treats, events...usually love it all. It was strange for me to realize, just yesterday, that I should get to the store and purchase the items necessary to contribute to Thanksgiving this year. When it comes to celebrating, I am typically a planner...I love to go all out. This year, I could care less. It is just another day...a day to eat a lot of food. Thanksgiving, at least, will not be so hard. It's not really a "kid-focused" day...not like Christmas. Vienne never really understood or cared much, yet, about Thanksgiving. She did love family gatherings and parties, though, and it is hard to be at any gathering now without her running around and charming everyone.
It just sucks.
But, I will tackle each holiday or hard event as they come, one at a time. I am certainly dreading the next month.
If I am to be thankful for anything, I am thankful for Ivy and for Mark. I am thankful for my and Mark's incredible family and I am thankful for the amazing friendships that I have and have made - those of you who continue to stand by me through this dreaded muck and mire. I do sincerely Thank You.
(taken a year ago by my sister in law, Kinsey ~ our last Thanksgiving with Vienne)