Ahhhh, the holidays. I’ve already spent hours coordinating and planning, texting and emailing. Been to the store three times this week. Getting ready for a few long days of traveling and cooking. I’m stressed and tired already! And I’m not even hosting, ha! Just going to three different houses. I get overwhelmed just thinking about it.

And then I think of Brittany. Have you met her? She’s my dear friend. She’s young and gorgeous and hardworking and oh-so-much fun. One day, a few years ago, she was on her way to an out-of-state music festival and she gets a phone call. Her brother was in a car accident and was killed. He’s gone. He was in his 20s.

This happened in June. Fast forward to a few months later…Thanksgiving. All day I had been thinking of her. “Is she ok? Is she miserable? Is she having an awful day?” And then that night, I saw her. I threw my arms around her so tight. “Are you ok???? Are you sad? Was your holiday ok or was it awful?”
And she looked me square in the face with those pale blue eyes and said “It was the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had.”

huh?

I don’t remember the exact explanation, but it was something along the lines of, with a loss that big, she understood what it means to be truly thankful for the things that most of us take for granted. Her brother wasn’t there, but her dad was. And he is wonderful, and Brittany is thankful for him. And her aunt was there. She is wonderful too. And they have beautiful memories of her brother Joe, and those memories will always be there. And they had great homemade food on the table. And they had a table. And a house with a roof. And all that jazz.

Now I really don’t believe it was the BEST Thanksgiving she has ever had. But I do believe that she was trying to be strong. For herself, for her dad, for her aunt, even for me and the rest of her friends. She doesn’t want her friends worrying about her. She wants them to be happy. And for herself, she would just rather be thankful than miserable. The loss of her brother was an incredible one, but there are still plenty of positives floating around in her world.

Here I am, feeling sorry for myself because I’m…busy. Because I have so many great places to be and I have great people to see. People who want to see me. And then there’s Brittany, a millennial who suffered a tragic loss but refuses to feel sorry for herself.

Damnit Brittany! I’m a punk. I just got punked by a millennial.

Because of you, I am NOT going to whine that I have 3 Thanksgivings to go to. No more whining! No more stressing.
Because of you, I am NOT going to complain about how crowded the grocery store or parking lot is.
Because of you, I am NOT going to complain when the women (and Jaime) do all the work for Thanksgiving dinner, and the men sit on their asses. (ok….that is a lie. I will complain if it happens. Cuz that’s just not cool.)
Because of you, I will hug my brother several times on Thursday. And I’ll be thankful every day that I get to see him.

Please! Next time you find yourself feeling pouty about something stupid, think of Brittany and just be strong.

So HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Let’s kick some freaking turkey ass. The holiday is here whether we like it or not, so let’s just enjoy it.

THANK YOU for reading! I love you and pray/wish/hope/whatever for your safety, happiness, and health!

 #LetItIn #MakeItHappen
Photo credit: Clark Smith

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