I want everyone to stop telling me to be thankful. I’m tired of reading it in devotionals, of hearing it in messages, of seeing quotes about it plastered all over social media.
I. DON’T. WANT. TO. BE. THANKFUL!
…Although I do not feel it this year, I have uttered those same thoughts during Thanksgivings of the past. Right around this time, heartache has hit home for me twice in the loss of both my parents. The despair was still raw. I was not angry at God, but in those moments I can honestly say~I wasn’t thankful either.
This past week I have heard some heavy hearts pour out that same ache to me over various situations in their lives. Thanksgiving does not feel thankful. One ache that has manifested itself often this holiday is that of a child who chooses to make the time for everyone else in their life except their mama.
The saddest part of that to me is the fact that the mothers are going through deep despair of their own. And yet, not a call, not a visit, not a hug, not a
“How are you doing mom? Are you okay?”
And it breaks my heart.
I was incredibly blessed to have a childhood many only dream of. We weren’t rich, but my parents made sure we knew how deeply we were loved. As the years went by, my relationship with my mom wasn’t always the best. I felt so justified in many of the angry moments I had toward her and her unrealistic expectations, but the older I get and the harder life becomes at times, the more I understand. She was hurting and I didn’t really get that.
I don’t think children ever really do until they’re putting those shoes on themselves. Mom is always mom. If the whole family is sick and she’s sick too, it doesn’t matter. She doesn’t get a day off. She takes care of everyone else. And for the rest of her life, that’s her role. Taking care of everyone else. Too often children forget that she’s hurting too. That she needs to be taken care of. That she needs someone to say, “Are you ok mom?”
Despite the disagreements, I would give anything to have my mom today. To hold her. To tell her how much I love her. To apologize for being selfish and not calling enough. To show her I understand now.
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for so many things. Blessings beyond measure. And I’m thankful for my mom and dad. I hope they always knew that. If they were alive today, I’d make sure I told them again and again.
Whatever your family dynamic is, pick up that phone and call your parents. Go visit them. Ask them how they’re doing. Tell them how much you love them. Try to see life from their eyes and how hard it can be at times. Ask God to show you their perspective before it’s too late.
Both years I lost my parents I faced the toughest Thanksgivings ever. Mom passed in November and dad in October. That’s an ache that no one understands unless you’ve gone through it yourself. I know of sweet mamas going through cancer treatments, sweet moms who lost their husbands recently, sweet moms who are all alone week after week after week.
Sweet moms who haven’t heard from their children.
I’m not going to tell you all the reasons you should be grateful this Thanksgiving. I know God tells us “In everything give thanks”, but I also understand heartache.
I will forever cling to the knowledge that Jesus wept. What a comfort~God understands too. Instead, I’m going to remind you that when you are hurting, your mom is hurting. Sometimes, SO much more. You have an opportunity today to give your parents a gift.
This Thanksgiving weekend, call your mom.
Call your dad.
Give your parents the gift of Thanksgiving. Oh if you only knew how much of a difference it would make in their lives and how much it would touch their hearts.
You might not understand today but,
one day you will and you will wish for today again. Make sure it’s a memory you’re grateful for and not one you will regret.
I Timothy 5:4
I Corinthians 13:4-8,13
I Peter 4:8