I am digging deep. Really, really deep. Because if it were up to me, I’d curl up into a ball under a pile of blankets and cry. I still might. I’m just putting on bloody foot in front of the other this morning. 10, simple things I took for granted for years. 10 little things that bring a smile to my face on this saddest of Thanksgiving mornings.
Football. You tried, most of the time successfully, to love football as much as your dad, especially on this day. I never told him that we barely watched a game while he was on deployments or that ESPN rarely made your radar, but I will miss your Patriots enthusiasm today.
The oldest cousin. Gavin should not be the oldest cousin here. It should be you. But I’m thankful that you passed on the honor to your brother today. I will think of you as he wears his unwanted badge of courage.
Your ridiculously long arms. You never quite mastered the art of passing food around the table instead of reaching. Every time a glass goes unspilled or a sweatshirt sleeve remains clean, I will think of you. Though, I’m sure your cousins will carry on the tradition.
Drumming. In my head, I will think of your hands drumming on everything horizontal at Mimi’s house. If you were here, I’d listen and smile.
Rockets in the driveway. The rocket Mimi bought you both is long gone, but some of your childhood toys are still here. I will think of you every time the new generation pulls out those obnoxious trucks you and your brother used to race around the house, or the phone that still works that we got for you as a baby.
Your obsession with the turkey leg. As recent as last year, you wanted the leg. Thankfully over time, there was more eating it like a normal person and less like a knight wielding his sword.
Your love of my cranberry sauce. It’s okay, Noah. I made it just for you.
May you please. Every time William says, “may I please,” I will remember that you didn’t quite master that “may” wasn’t interchangeable in a sentence beginning with, “may you please,” until you were at least seven. “May you please take me to the park?” “May you please pass the cranbewwy sauce?”
Snuggling with my boys—plural. My arms will feel a little less full without you in them. Some of my best memories in this house are of us, snuggling on the couch. The two of you protect me from the chaos.
The adult table. There are three empty spaces at the adult table this year. Our circle is smaller. When the time comes to join hands and be thankful, I’ll do my best to focus on the 17 years of memories we made together and not the lifetime that we’ve lost.
Noah, help us through today. Fill our hearts with love for one another and stories of your shenanigans. Help us build new memories in honor of you. I wish you were here. ~Love, ma