Thanksgiving, 2014 we enjoyed a typical amazing family day.
Innocently and honestly taking great comfort in the magic that is this family.
We did not know that before Christmas Sarge would die and Jonathan would die. The shock and sadness was enormous, and deeply affected Christmas and the onset of the new year.
A new year that two and a half months later would bring about the suicide of Kevin.
That reality has weighed heavy throughout this year.
Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving 2015.
I sat at the dinner table, looking at my amazing wife, my sons, at Emily and my brother, and thinking about Karen, with a love in my heart that was overwhelming.
Sometimes life feels like dodging bullets.
That is reality, that is life, and there will be enormous and heartbreaking loss and sadness. No getting around it.
The pain that I (we) suffered over the loss of Sarge, Jonathan and Kevin shaped me. It changed me.
How could it not?
Losing three people you love in such a short time changes your definition and expectation of life. It shifts your perspective and wakes you up to the fragility and unpredictability of our relationships. It gets in your face and shames you out of apathy.
I sat in my recliner yesterday, I sat at the dinner table yesterday, and reflected.
I considered the fact that this is my family, and what a magical, deeply loving, exceptional and amazing family it is.
I considered the fact that Carol and I are getting older and that there is nothing we can do about that.
I considered the fact that things will change over the next five and ten and fifteen and twenty years.
No stopping or avoiding it.
That being said, I relished the special nature of this day, a day set aside to give thanks. To give thanks for whatever it is that is meaningful to you.
Nothing is more important to me, nothing touches my heart more gently, nothing nourishes my soul more than my family does.
You can take everything else away from me and I will still have my family.
And my family is everything.
It was a spectacular Thanksgiving, even considering how much has been lost.
The day was about what has been lost, what we still have and what lies precious before us in the future.
It was a beautiful day.