Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. It is usually the only time each year that my entire family that lives in several different states can get together. As my sisters and I have grown up, went to college, got jobs, etc it has been harder and harder for everyone to get together. But we all make a concerted effort to be there at Thanksgiving. At Nana's house. Nana was the matriarch of the family. She loved to have everyone at her house and made sure she had each person's favorites - frozen waffles for Emily, peppermint ice cream for Jonna,sausage balls for Shanna, orange juice for me. Each year she welcomed us to her house with a big Nana hug and an even bigger smile. Thanksgiving was a blur of family, stories, laughing, food, and usually a trip to the Smoky Mountains. And each Thanksgiving we made an official Thanksgiving picture. Everyone has their "places". Each year we all centered around Nana, each in our particular spot.
This will be our first Thanksgiving without Nana. While I am definitely looking forward to seeing my family I know things will be different. In fact, we are making things different this year on purpose. I don't know if it will make the void created by Nana not being there better or worse. But I do know that Nana is up in heaven smiling and thrilled that we are all getting together at her house. I know she also expects us to get into our "spots" and take our annual Thanksgiving picture. Her spot is a huge hole that will never be filled. But do you know what? This Thanksgiving I am thankful to have had 31 years and a lifetime of memories with a Nana that is that irreplaceable