If I'm honest, I have to admit I was a little worried about celebrating our first Thanksgiving after losing my father. Thanksgiving was our jam. I'd show up at his house early in the morning, he'd pour me a glass of champagne (what?) and I'd plop down to watch the Twilight Zone marathon until it was time to hoist myself up to make the cranberries (which he refused to eat--it was canned or nothing for him) and then get dressed to greet whatever assortment of guests he'd invited that year.
You've never met a man more in tune with sentiment of Thanksgiving. He seriously felt it, and he made sure you felt it, too. So, celebrating this year without his phone call ("Gobble, gobble!"), without his toast, without his recitation of gratitude for all of his many gifts, felt a little strange. A little empty. But as the day progressed and our house filled up with our many beloved friends and family; as the food started to come together; as the children began to list all the many things they are grateful for this year; the empty spot in the pit of my belly began to fill. By the end of the night--spent barefoot in the garage playing board games with the kids--the empty spot was full to overflowing.
I think he would have been proud to see how we spent our day.
Dash and Baba in the calm before the storm.
Canned, in honor of Pops.