Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner and as per usual, I am prepping for a house full of family. Unlike most holiday blog posts, Thanksgiving really has nothing to do with what I am about to write, other than it’s what sparked this post. The other day my good friend asked on Facebook who was holding onto grudges and to find power and happiness in forgiving and letting go of the negativity. I mentioned that I would love to subscribe to that outlook but after pondering what that really meant, I realized I have been holding a grudge and I’m thankful for it.
Do you ever feel like you are walking around, going through the motions for everybody else? I’m not referencing motherhood; putting children first is a given and it’s a selfless job. It’s a role I consciously and wholeheartedly committed to the moment I found out I was pregnant with my first child, a connection that was sewn right into my soul. I’m a private person. You read that and may laugh because I’m a blogger who blogs about my family and farm life. It’s true; I share some of my most intimate moments with my readers but those are just moments, a scratch on the surface. Surface to spare somebody else’s feelings or to avoid encroaching on somebody else’s privacy. That is fair. This year I’m a bit numb to my surroundings and I’m thankful for it in some ways. It took two solid years to get to this point.
I love being surrounded by family on holidays. Family is important and although it is a lot of work preparing a meal and a good time for a table of around 20, it’s worth it. I’m usually the hostess and I prefer it that way because it keeps me busy and keeps my mind off that dark spot in my heart, the piece that is missing. My grandmother passed away earlier this year; she always loved the farm and joining us at every holiday family dinner. It’s something I’m still grieving but she had a good long life and there are many memories to pull from. That is not the dark spot I’m talking about. Grief is a beast. What happens when your grief isn’t final is a whole other beast, a beast only those who have endured it can possibly understand. This year there will noticeably be two empty seats at our Thanksgiving family table, like the elephant in the room, and for that I am holding a grudge and being thankful for it.
My life has had many trials and tribulations, one specifically so devastating that at times I thought I couldn’t possibly get through it. It’s interesting how strong you realize you are at times like these. Naturally as you move through grief there are several stages, anger and desperation being two beasts all on there own, and eventually you do start to see the light again where happiness can thrive. People always tell me to let go, forgive and forget. For me, some things can never be forgiven. I feel robbed.
I feel robbed for my own selfish motherly reasons but more so for my family, robbed of conversations once had or that connection felt whenever a true hug was given. I feel robbed FOR this lost soul and all the things he missed and will miss. I feel robbed of all those firsts, the first love, the first broken heart or the first time a car was driven. Death is final. This is limbo and for that I am holding a grudge and being thankful for it. You see, this grudge is what drives me. This grudge is what keeps me from falling to pieces when the reminders slap me in the face and feelings rush in, just like it happened yesterday. This grudge is what reminds me that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing everywhere in the world and because of that I can spot who the really good people are pretty easily, those good people that you want to hang onto, do anything for and be supportive of.
Negative? I don’t see it that way. But isn’t holding onto a grudge giving that person power over you? No. Holding onto this type of grudge for me is empowerment. It’s a reminder to be good to people, to spend the time, to move past petty little things you see all over these days. For all that is lost, this grudge cannot be forgotten or forgiven; this grudge has been my engine to move forward and for that I am thankful.