Happy Thanksgiving to everyone following “Paul’s Heart.” I am thankful for so many things in my life, and this blog is something I am not only proud of for the number of people I have reached, but am so thankful for all the support that has ever been offered.
This officially begins one of the busiest, expensive, stressful, and memorable times of the year. For some, it is one of the most difficult times of the year to endure. Many families are struggling financially or have suffered personal loss, and for some, this may be the first year that they are going through this holiday season under those conditions.
Others may be in situations that just seem outright sad, going through holiday struggles year after year. “Paul’s Heart” had its origin twenty-six years ago when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I have not had a “typical” Winter holiday season since, ever. There has always been some sort of crisis, tragedy, or struggle to endure. But that is what I do, I get through it. I have to. I have two beautiful little girls who depend on me, and enjoy the holidays. They do not know why I have such difficulties with the holiday season.
I am not alone. Many of my friends here are in a similar situation as me. They are away from family and celebrating Thanksgiving with friends. And no matter what the meal will consist of today, we will all make the most of our holiday today, and we are thankful for that.
There are actually meaningful football games to day, unlike years past, where a team just shows up to play on Thanksgiving. At least four teams playing have playoff implications. I know where my eyes will be glued tonight.
And then, in the wee hours of the morning, another new Thanksgiving weekend experience for me.
I will be on an early morning flight to be reunited with my daughters. This will be our second Thanksgiving since the divorce was filed, but this is the first one that I have been away from them so long. My mother has made this trip possible for me, and for that I am very thankful.
As we approach the Winter holidays, all I want is for my daughters to know how much I love them, how much I miss them. And just as my past visits with them, that is all they will be told. I am keeping everything about the divorce from our conversations. I know this is not easy for them. And it would be even worse for them, if they knew how one parent treated the other. The children love both of us and this season is going to be critical to the children if that love is to survive. And just like every other holiday season, I do plan to get through it, and hope the next year will finally be the time I get to say “Happy Thanksgiving” without following the phrase with “but…”
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Girls, Daddy cannot wait to see you tomorrow. I love you.