Thanksgiving has always been a really special time for me. Even as a child, I loved the smells, the family gathered around the table, even all the work the day requires. As a young adult, Thanksgiving took on a brand new meaning for me because that is the day I met Sean. We have one of those ridiculously romantic stories where he looked at me across the room and thought to himself, "I'm going to marry that girl."
Truth be told, I've always been a little spoiled in the love department. I met him when I was so young - I was only home from college for 6 months. I was 22 and I got to love him for 17 years. All of my adult life so far.
When he was sick, he had this wonderful home health aide. I've ashamed that I can't remember her name but we had a conversation that will stick with me forever. Little rabbit trail: you tend to get to know the people who become part of the daily fabric of your life and she was no exception. She was absolutely wonderful, she even washed Sean's hair a day before he died. I actually told her that wasn't necessary, that she surely had another appointment to get to, but she insisted. She was tall, she was lovely in her own way, her quiet demeanor and peacefulness only added to that. She was extraordinary at her job and she had told me once in passing that she was married for 17 years and that she was divorced. She spoke so lovingly of her parents and never mentioned children and I just knew not to ask. Well, one day she sat at the table with me and told me what a good job I was doing with Sean. That the love that we shared was beautiful and rare and that she didn't see it everyday. Then she said something that completely stunned me. She said, "I have never been loved like you are."
I was speechless. She was married. Now, I'm not naive enough to think that every marriage is made of rainbows and lollipops but she was married and she had never been loved like me. And it just made me want to hug her. But, she taught me a valuable lesson and I can't help but remember her words this year. I'm really going to try to remember how blessed I am that an extraordiary person loved me and he liked me and he protected me. I wish that I could have had a thousand more years with him. I really do. But I'm going to look back at the 17 years, look at our two beautiful children and say thank you.