Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No presents, just family getting together for food, love, games, gratitude and laughter. I spent two days on the west side of town, with my family for Thanksgiving. As we sat down for dinner, I couldn’t help but remember our Thanksgiving two years ago. My dad had just finished a month of radiation and was weak, with very little appetite. Dad always gave the toast before every meal, and I think he knew that this was his last Thanksgiving. His toast was about family, and how important we all are to each other and to treat each other with appreciation, love and respect. I can’t remember his exact words, but I was choked up listening to his toast. At every family gathering, when we sit down to eat; Robin say’s a prayer of gratitude and we raise our glasses. The toast is always the same: “To Family!” Reaffirmed loudly and enthusiastically by everyone else sitting at all the tables, “To Family!”
My family has another tradition. This one is not holiday specific. Ever since I was a little girl, I remember visiting my grandparents and as we left their house, they would stand at the door, waving goodbye. Bundled in the car, we waved and blew kisses back as we drove away. My parents carried on that tradition and every time someone left their home, they stood at the door, arms around each other, and waved goodbye. So, as I was pulling out of the driveway in the back of the house on Saturday, I thought to myself, ‘mom is going to be at the front door waving.’ As I cleared the side of the house and saw the front door, there she was, waving goodbye. I waved, blew kisses and honked the horn as I drove off. I was overwhelmed with emotion and I burst into tears driving away from the house on the street where I grew up. I thought about family. How I adore my mummy dear and how we laugh together. I thought about my siblings, their spouses, my nieces and nephews and how I love them all dearly. I thought about traditions. I thought about Thanksgiving and the meaning of the holiday. I have so very much to be grateful for and even though I was in tears, I was bathed in gratitude for the blessings in my life. Mostly, for the blessing of family. Raymond loved my family. He referred to them as the “Farkle Family” and he loved our family gatherings.
Raymond left me his little mobile home, nestled in this quiet and wooded setting, so I would have some security. He blessed me, even after his death, with the gift of his home. Since he died, (and I gave away the things he wanted me to give to his cousins), I got my things out of storage. We had my things in a storage shed because we were going to use them to decorate our winter home in Florida that we dreamed of buying together. My Buddha statues, vintage Hawaii pictures, and nick knacks now adorn every corner of this place, which became my home, my healing space, and my sacred little temple. I’m so grateful to Raymond for that gift.
Now, I feel complete with my life out here in Algonac and I long to get back to the west side, to be closer to my family and friends. Closer to the area I grew up in, where I know the roads and am comfortable driving. In October, I decided to list the mobile home on a national website, strictly designed for selling and renting mobile homes. I figured that maybe it would sell by spring. About three weeks later, I got a call from a man in Arizona inquiring about the trailer. When I began to tell him that Algonac is a bit of a resort town that sits on the Saint Clair River he said, “I know, I’m originally from Algonac!” That was my sign from God! Raymond had lived in AZ for 17 years before returning to Algonac, the place he loved. It was as if Raymond was telling me, “It is okay to sell the trailer and move back home, you need your family.” He knew how much my family meant to me. The Arizona couple flew up here the first weekend in November and I sold my home on November 8. The wonderful thing about the sale is that I don’t have to move until March or April. I have the gift of time to find the next perfect little place for me.
I’m feeling very blessed indeed, this holiday season. My family and I are thrilled that I will no longer be an hour and a half away from them. I have made many moves in my life, and each time I move, I put out an intention/prayer to the universe, “This or something better.” Throughout my many moves, it’s been my experience that I always find the perfect place for me. I’m moving forward, and moving home…. To Family!