Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving has become a bittersweet holiday for me. 

I am so grateful for all that I have in my life.

And I want the day to be about remembering all the wonderful things that I have - my health, friends, family, a job, books, a home I like etc. etc. etc.

But...the day is also tinged with sadness as my Daddy passed away on Thanksgiving day three years ago. Since then, the day hasn't been the same.

I read somewhere that things never really get better after losing someone you love dearly. They just get less worse. 

I get that. I really do. I still think of him daily. I miss him very, very much. And, well, I just miss him that much more on Thanksgiving day. 

So, today I am going to give thanks for my father.

Ten (of a Gazillion) Reasons I am Thankful for my Dad:

1. He paid for my entire university education without complaint (something I am even more grateful for as I look at the prices for my daughter entering uni next year!!!!)

2. He taught me that it is not only okay, but essential, to carve out alone time each day (for him it was by listening to music - for me it is reading).

3. He taught me to teach for 40 years rather than teaching one year 40 times. 

4. He taught me to learn the difference between doubt and fear. And would always say, "If in doubt, don't" I still live by these words.

5. He spent time each week making my then young daughter a "girled" cheese sandwich and then watching old movies on AMC with her on her early dismissal day. I never had a close relationship with my grandfather as he lived 3000 miles away. Seeing the closeness between my child and my father filled my heart. 

6. He never judged me. 

7. He showed me that if you have a passion (his was Rachmaninoff) you need to follow it no matter what others think.

8. He taught me not to bring work home. (I only bring work home about 2% of the time. Not perfect but pretty darn close!)  

9. He kept his own counsel. He was like a vault when it came to being professional and keeping information private. I could tell him anything and know that he would maintain my privacy. This is a lesson everyone needs to learn.

10. He gave me a love for the South. He was born in small town Georgia and I love all things Southern. Give me some shrimp and grits any day of the week and I'll be happy! 

This song always reminds me of him and the small town, Homerville, where he grew up. She sings of a town in Carolina while he was from Georgia, but, the images she evokes are so clearly a Southern town that it could be any small town in the South. Listening to this song brings back so many happy memories of visits with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. 

I love you Daddy and I know that you are with me always.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ms. Hughes

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