This year my family and I are doing things a little different. Instead of traveling to family homes in NC or even local family homes to enjoy the holiday, we are taking a much needed vacation to Universal Studios in Orlando!
Don't get me wrong, we are not avoiding our extended family, and we will miss the conversations and fellowship. But sometimes you need to listen to your own immediate family and take a break from your busy lives and do something a little different.
We have discussed it and realized that we haven't had a vacation together in at least four years. All of us have traveled - for events and work - but we haven't planned and taken a family vacation with just the four of us in so long.
And sometimes you just have to break tradition and make some new memories.
You see, two years ago at Thanksgiving we were all in a hospital back home in NC surrounded by family and watching the medial monitors on my father's life support system. My father had been diagnosed with Non-Alcoholic form of Cirrhosis of the Liver just earlier that year and his ammonia levels got so high he was in a coma for nearly a week. I stood by his bed with my sisters and mom and discussed our options and his wishes that week.
We also received a miracle that week that against all odds he woke up on Thanksgiving morning and we were able to rejoice together as a family. The Lord gave us three more months with him and even though he never walked again or left a hospital bed, we could talk with him, laugh with him, and say so many things that needed to be said before he went home to be with the Lord in January. I will always appreciate and treasure those weeks we had with him.
I can honestly say I am personally having a harder time this second Thanksgiving without him than I did last year. However, he would be the first person to encourage me to take this vacation and enjoy time with my kids and husband before our lives change again when our daughter graduates and lives for college next year. We are aware that this may be one of the last vacations we take with just the four of us.
I hope everyone makes some new memories this holiday season. I will send lots of updates from Florida over the next week or so.