Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgivings Past

Thanksgiving at our childhood home in Escondido
November 1997
Squeezed like sardines in the TV room
Enjoy the bleach blond Chad and Casey!

Thanksgiving 2002
My Our Parents Home
Bryan is in the back row-far right

Candid moment
Squishing us all in--again!
Regret: I always say I am going to take family photos even if many groan and object to piling on top of each other and forcing a smile. I did not insist in 2007 and now I don't have a picture. Word to the Wise: Snap those digital treasures this Thanksgiving! Make sure you capture the moments on camera as well as in your heart! Me being bossy again!
A couple of times a decade we try and get the extended family all together: 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007. This year, our cousin Jenn is hosting a feast which we won't be joining. My parents requested the holidays be different than in years past so that the pain of missing Bryan will not be as pronounced. I am not sure that is possible but we are attempting. It is an effort at self-preservation or sanity. I pray it helps. No matter what we do, this Thanksgiving will not be as difficult as last year. My brother was self-destructing and keeping everyone away. This year, he is giving thanks to the Father in person :) with no more pain, no more tears. I can be thankful for that.
My mom and I were talking and praying about how to make the holidays sweet without Bryan. He loved this season. It is hard to think of celebrating without his big grin and boyish thrill of pleasure in them. But Thanksgiving and Christmas aren't about Bryan. Mom and I decided that next year, we are going to start a new tradition in Bryan's honor. Maybe sponsoring the family of an incarcerated person? Bryan did that one Christmas. Or taking gifts to the battered Women & Children Shelter? That was a project of his another year. We are going to think about it this year and see if we can come up with a perfect "Bryan Tribute" to keep his love of this time of year alive and meaningful. And to keep the focus on the reason for this season--the Son of God who came to seek and save that which was lost. Lost hope, lost sheep, lost dreams, lost purity, lost moments, lost heart, lost joy, lost marriages, lost homes, Lost. He came to SAVE that which was lost. I am so thankful.


The Limon's said...

I LOVE the all have the the biggest smiles. Looks like you are all having fun. I never cease to be amazed at how Brian was such a selfless person and such a giver. What an honor for you to have been apart of his life and I am honored to be able to learn from him through you. I love your ideas (from Brian) to give to those who are less fortunate (like in prison or in a safe shelter). We are going to have to do that too.

Anonymous said...

We sure do have sooo much to be thankful for.Thank-you for helping me to remember that!I guess Bryan and I had some things in common.Maybe mine came from being spoiled through my chilhood and Bryan"s came from being so well grounded.When we first moved back here,at Thanksgiving and Christmas we would,as a family,go to the local food bank and serve a meal to all who needed one.We felt so much gratitude.We were all so much more connected then.In honor of Bryan I think we should all try to become re-connected during the season.After all,JESUS is the reason for the season!!!!!Peace and MUCH Love to all...Auntie IngyP.S.Eric backed out at the last minute..too long of a drive in a small car.I was disappointed but maybe for Christmas.

WARNING! Tissues Required-Video Slideshow of Bryan's Life-Sorry the music was muted!