I never got around to posting a well meaning Thanksgiving post. One of the things I am most thankful is my brother, Brian. I feel like we are a unifed front to what has happened in our family this year, each of moving on in our own ways but still very aware that this holiday season is going to be hard.
The highlight of the holiday weekend was his visit on Friday night until late Saturday afternoon. Brian had offered to work Thanksgiving and luckily was cut from the surgical rotation early on Friday allowing him to drive up a bit earlier.
As of Friday morning, our leisurely planned Saturday lunch had turned into including my paternal aunt/uncle, their son and wife and three sweet little girls for a post Thanksgiving meal since they were traveling through. I pulled out my grandmother's silver, my mom's china, and set my dining room table to welcome them into our home. With 5 kids under five I opted to covering the breakfast table with butcher paper for the kids to color for the proverbial kids table. Good plan to have waited to have recovered the breakfast chairs given there was crayon on the seats and walls.
As much as I wanted Brian to stay on until Sunday, he had a early am Monday shift at the hospital and left Saturday shorty after our extended family. A huge thanks to Bill for taking the boys Saturday morning while we cooked to Brian's ever faithful play-list of music.
When I wrote about my relationship with Brian last winter it was hard to imagine how we would connect with each other after my mom was gone. Three months into the other side, we talk/text more than ever, in part due to ongoing probate of my mom's estate, but also just to check in on each other. Before he left we took a short walk and talked about how much it has hit us in our own ways that starting this holiday season brings with it many emotions. We are John and Wendy Savage made over once again.
In this season of thankfulness and entering into a time to celebrate with family, I'm so very glad that Brian wants to be an active part of the boys lives. He graciously had cleaned out and brought with him the remainder of gifts my mom had put away for the boys. Many will go on to make their way under our tree or be donated. He also had cleaned out my bedroom of anything left of a life long since past. So far I haven't even opened the bags and may just take the to the attic to processed sometime in the future.
When I was at Church yesterday one statement really stuck with me, "a heart filled with gratitude is not a result of your circumstances, but rather a way of approaching life even on the hardest of days."
My hope for my ongoing relationship with Brian to be one of gratitude for what he did for our family during the really tough times. It's also one of hope that our relationship will continue to thrive in new ways as adult siblings.