Since this video is of Johnny Cash playing a Thanksgiving Prayer on the show Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman (which takes place in Wyoming), I thought it would be àpropos to post some photos of Wyoming. I am very thankful for my ties to Wyoming, for this thick rope holds family, friends, memories, and a deep love for the landscape. I met my husband in Wyoming and our anniversary is coming up this Friday. We were married twice. The first time we were married, my father had cancer and we had a small ceremony in my parents bedroom so my father could walk me down the aisle. The second time we were married was an outdoor wedding in July 2004. This is a post about the story of my wedding dress and how it was made, called The Dress and the Snake.
My father and I on my wedding day, November 23, 2003
My father was not able to get out of bed though. Nonetheless, he was able to be present. He was very lucid. It was a beautiful day; there was a blizzard the night before and a thick blanket of snow covered the streets, sparkling like crystals. My friend from California came out and said it looked like “a magical fairy land of sugary sparkles.”
That’s me and Mae — my friend from California (in front of Mabel — the stuffed lion) before the ceremony.
November is a difficult month for me since there are many emotions I feel. I can’t help but think of my dad. My mother now is in a nursing home and her health is not good. She always made such an amazing Thanksgiving dinner, complete with relish trays, cheese trays, and an assortment of nuts — complete with a nutcracker. My parents decked their house out with Christmas decorations.
I love the snow. This photo is from our 2010 trip to Wyoming and Colorado over Thanksgiving
It was always very special and wonderful to be surrounded by my family. Now things have changed. My mother is in a nursing home in Colorado. My father is in Heaven and my husband and me live on the East Coast. What does remain the same is the memories and love. I am very thankful for it all.
Photos from my wedding
Thanksgiving fell that year the Thursday after we got married. We bought a meal cooked by the grocery store and all got food poisoning. Not fun.
Have a great Thanksgiving. May the force be with you if you need it.
I wish I was in Wyoming to see my people. This photo is from two years ago when I went home for Thanksgiving.
My mom was very healthy, considering her brain tumors (which she had in 2003 and was diagnosed with brain tumors in 2000 and had brain surgery the same year), at my wedding. I wish I could go back in time, but I can’t. This is part of the cycle. I have the memories and the love. This I am thankful for.
My beautiful mom. I am thankful for this moment, which is chiseled in my heart.
I am thankful for my family. I have a son now. This beautiful two and half year old. This little bundle of energy who is speaking now in complete sentences, no longer toddler gibberish. This is part of the cycle. I am thankful. I know many of you may be struggling with your own problems and heartaches (aren’t we all). My heart and prayers go out to all bleeding hearts on Thanksgiving. I think the holidays are very hard. I find joy in them, but I also feel very sad around this time of year. And that reminds me of a quote my mom would always say, and she could never get it out without crying.
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” – Kahlil Gibran
On Joy and Sorrow
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
Kamilah, Kahlil’s mother. Painting by Kahlil Gibran
My dad stopping to smell the roses. This photo gives me such joy.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with love and laughter, but also honor the tears and heartache for the ones you will not see at the table this year. Many people have lost loved ones and it is hard, especially if this is your first Thanksgiving without them.
This is my family and I am thankful.