We just had our first Thanksgiving without Mr Loco. He was the king of Thanksgiving. Our house was open to anyone looking for a place to spend the day. Mr Loco was in his element hosting Thanksgiving. He LOVED making food for friends. He loved a reason to hang out, tell stories and laugh.
He loved sharing his love of Thanksgiving with Baby Loco. This was Baby Loco’s third Thanksgiving. On her first Thanksgiving, she was just over a month old. Instead of hibernating with baby, we charged ahead with a full Thanksgiving spread. As I reflect back, it may have been easier to prep with a snuggly newborn. We had new friends over. We talked about what we were grateful for. This day was a tradition in the making. We had a very enjoyable day. I know that Mr Loco was proud of the delicious turkey he made. We were both excited about our fun new family tradition.
On Baby Loco’s second Thanksgiving we had new friends join us with their son, who was a few months younger than Baby Loco. The day was even better. There were new dishes to try and good conversation. The previous year, we were grateful for our new addition, Baby Loco. This year Mr Loco expressed his gratitude for the support we had over the past few months and in all of the medical staff that helped him get back on his feet. Mr Loco introduced our guests to Cards Against Humanity. The house was full of laughter. We joked that we would need to get a new table if we kept adding new people each year.
Mr Loco was always in charge of the turkey. He deep fried the turkey to perfection each year. I appreciated this because I don’t really get along with raw meat. A perfect split of duties seemed to happen often with us. (He hated cleaning the bathroom and I hated taking the garbage out. We swapped tasks.) For Thanksgiving, I tackled things like Pumpkin Bread Pudding and he tackled the turkey. The week leading up to Thanksgiving was always fun. We made shopping lists and tidied up the house. We looked for new recipes. I would “pin” things on Pinterest. We never went over the top with decorations. It was all about the people and the food.
Baby Loco’s third Thanksgiving is in the books. Our friends from past years returned for a wonderful day. On one hand, I feel it was a big success because we survived the day and there was lots of laughter. I planned on ways to make it fun for Baby Loco. We made a turkey shirt from her hand and footprints. I had her Chucks set aside as an ode to Daddy. I made a special breakfast to get the day going on a fun note. The day was a success. I know this.
On the other hand, there were pieces to the day that I would have liked to add in. I thought about them a lot during the day but I just couldn’t put my thoughts into words. Those were the times where I was on the verge of tears and knew if I opened my mouth to speak, I would just start sobbing. That is what makes days like Thanksgiving hard. There is a whole inner monologue going on that is not shared. After having a few days to think about it, I think in the future I would tell my guests ahead of time what little things might be nice and see if maybe one of them is interested in initiating that activity. Don’t get me wrong, the day was wonderful. I laughed and smiled. Baby Loco laughed and played. She didn’t want everyone to leave. We had a great time and boy do we know people who know how to make tasty food. My friend tackled the turkey prep and humored me with a scrub shirt and rubber gloves. The guys tackled the deep friend turkey and Mr Loco would have been proud.
This year has been the hardest year ever, yet I still know I have a lot to be thankful for. 2014 sucked but I can dig for all of the goodness. I have been able to stay in our house. I am getting our financial life pulled together little by little. I have an amazing little girl who provides more smiles than I ever thought imaginable. Yes, she looks just like Mr Loco and yes, that brings me a lot of comfort. I am surrounded by wonderful friends and family. The sun is shining and there are cookies in the oven.
I will just remember that on days like Thanksgiving there will be a mix of happiness and laughter and grief and sadness. Mr Loco is missed. There is a hole in our family that cannot be filled. We will continue moving forward but that does not change the devastation left in his absence. There is no amount of time that will lessen our loss. Now we shall push forward to Christmas.