Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

An author and friend wrote last week and said it doesn't seem quite right to say "Happy Thanksgiving" with the loss of Jim this year.  Please let me assure you, I have a great deal to be thankful for, and I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving, and a time during the day that you can truly appreciate your blessings.

First, I'm so grateful to have a wonderful family and friends, and all of you who have become friends. You all rallied around me in February when Jim died.  Every once in a while, I receive a note from someone, as I did last week, saying we're still thinking of you, and praying for you.  Thank you.  When someone asked what they should say to a recent widow, I said I appreciated the hugs.  Each one of your notes was a hug, and I could feel how much you cared.  Thank you for being there.

I am lucky enough to have this opportunity to write about my passion, books, and share it with all of you.  Thank you for stopping by to read, and share your comments.  And, thank you to all of the authors, publicists and publishers who have shared books with me.

From the time I was sixteen, I've worked in public libraries.  I've been surrounded by books, but most of all, I've been lucky enough to work with wonderful people in Huron and Upper Arlington, Ohio, Port Charlotte and Lee County, Florida, and, now in Glendale.  I'm truly grateful for all of the special co-workers in my life.

Before I mention my family, I want to say how much I appreciated visits from Susan Coronado, Julie Havir, Rodeane Widom, Jamie Shaheen and Beth Hoffman.  The first three women were here the day Jim died, and helped me through the transition until my family arrived.  Jamie's my college roommate, and she knew and loved Jim.  She wrote a letter that made me laugh and cry, spent time talking on the phone, and came to visit a couple months later.  Beth Hoffman flew in just to be here for me.  Thank you to every one of you for giving of your time.

I'm lucky to have a wonderful family, beginning with my mother and two sisters, Linda and Christie.  Your support, your presence, your phone calls, your funny or touching cards, all meant, and mean, the world to me.  I have two supportive brothers-in-law, two nieces and five nephews.  When I went home in August, I had the chance to visit with family and friends.  It was so good to see and talk to all of you.  Thank you for your love, and your time. 

And, thank you to all of Jim's friends, who wrote notes, or attended his graveside service.  In most cases, I never met you.  It was so wonderful to hear your stories about Jim, and know how much you loved him.

Anyone who knows me, knows I can't write a note about my blessings without mentioning my cats.  They are waiting for me, whenever I get home.   And, I refer to the youngest, Jinx, as the laughter in my life.  The cats make me laugh.

I have so much to be thankful for.  So, don't hesitate to wish me a "Happy Thanksgiving."  It truly is a happy Thanksgiving when you can count your blessings.  I have so many in my life.  But, I'll end this year's Thanksgiving note in almost the same way I ended last year's.

And, a final thank you to Jim, for twenty-six years. I loved you, and I'm thankful for the life we led together, the books and sports we shared over the years, the cats we loved, and all of our time together.


36 comments:

Ingrid King said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. You are such an inspiration, Lesa. These "firsts" without a loved one are hard, and the holidays can be especially difficult. I'm keeping you in my thoughts today. Have a wonderful holiday, and may your memories of Jim bring comfort as you're surrounded by the love of your friends - and your cats.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Ingrid. I truly mean it. And, every note from a friend, such as this one from you, is a hug. Thank you. And, I'm sitting here, writing this with difficulty, since Josh is draped over my arms, purring away.

bermudaonion said...

What a fantastic attitude, Lesa! I hope today's not too tough for you. Happy Thankgiving!

Lesa said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Kathy, and thank you for commenting regularly on my blog. I'm grateful for all of you who share your reading and life with me. Thank you!

Mason Canyon said...

You truly are an inspiration for the rest of us. You remind us that even with loss, there are many things to be thankful for. I'm thankful to have found your blog and the amazing person you are. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and give the cats an extra hug.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Pamela Keener said...

(((((((((((((((Lesa)))))))))))))
That is one hearty hug from moi.
I am relatively new to your blog site so I had no idea of your loss.
I am so happy that you have friends, family and your cats to make sure you are never alone. You also have this community.
Your post brought tears and a smile to me. From one who is owned by a crazy cat whose antics make me laugh to you and your kitties Happy Thanksgiving.
Keep that lovely chin of yours held high.
Love & Hugs,
Pam

Kaye Barley said...

Lesa - you have touched so many people. I count myself as one of the lucky ones.
You honor us all by sharing words about your Jim, and sharing him with us.
Huge hugs, my friend.
and much love.
Kaye

Beth Groundwater said...

And the mystery community is grateful for you, Lesa! While this first Thanksgiving without Jim may be bittersweet, I hope you know that your many friends and blog readers are holding you in their hearts.

Karen B said...

Happy Thanksgiving Lesa! And - YAH - Jennifer did win. HUGS.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Mason. I'm having just the kind of Thanksgiving I want. I might not "be" with family in Ohio, but just yesterday I received my family's round robin letter. So, I read it today, sharing all of my extended family's news. Stormy is sitting with me in the chair right now, as I read these notes from friends all over the country. I had invitations for Thanksgiving, but I chose to spend it at home, with my favorite food, calls to family & friends, and my cats. And, of course, all of you. Plus, I love NBC's Thanksgiving - the Macy's parade, the National Dog Show, and then Miracle on 34th Street.

Thanks for being here as a friend, Mason. Happy Thanksgiving.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Pam, for the huge hug, and here's one right back to you! I'm so glad you discovered my blog, and come back to it. Thank you. Have a beautiful Thanksgiving!

Lesa said...

Ah, Kaye. And, I'm one of the lucky ones to have you in my life. Give your Donald and Harley a big hug for me. I know you understand your blessings all the time, but particulary this year when you have your husband there. Happy Thanksgiving, Kaye. I love you.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Beth, for taking time to stop. I know you're busy this time of year, so I was surprised to see your comment here. I love the mystery community, and you all mean so much to me. Thank you for your friendship. And, Happy Thanksgiving!

Lesa said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Karen! You're right. Yay!

Kris said...

Happy Thanksgiving! It sounds like you are surrounded by loved ones and that is truly something to be happy about. Take care...holidays after the loss of a loved one are always hard. I know it's still hard for my Mom and my grandparents, and my Dad's been gone for 9 years.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kris. Actually, I'm spending the day at home, but I have so many family and friends I love that I am truly surrounded by loved ones. Thank you. And, Happy Thanksgiving.

Beth Hoffman said...

Lesa, you are a dear friend and a true inspiration. I admire you for countless reasons, and I'm honored and thankful for your gift of friendship.

Happy Thanksgiving, sweetie! Give the kitties a special pet from me.

xoxo

Lesa said...

Beth,

It's hard to believe we've only known each other for such a short time. Thank you for your friendship as well. You mean so much to me.

And, I just told Stormy and Josh their hugs were from you.

Terri said...

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving, Lesa. I don't comment often, but I enjoy reading your posts and reviews. All the best to you in this holiday season.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Terri! I'm just as grateful for the readers that don't comment, but continue to come back and read my reviews and comments. Thank you. And, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Gran said...

I ope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving, Lesa. This is a wonderful post, and I loved reading about Jim. You brought tears to my eyes. Hugs to you. And thanks for your posts; I don't always comment, but I read them all.

Gran said...

I also HOPE you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Lesa said...

Thank you, Gran. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. I did.

Thank you for saying you liked to read about Jim. And, I appreciate you stopping by to read all the posts. Thank you!

Bev Stephans said...

Happy Thanksgiving Lesa! May your blessings increase tenfold.

I know you are missing Jim, but It's better to have known and loved him, than to have never known and loved him at all. I'm sure he is always near you.

Lesa said...

What a beautiful wish, Bev. Thank you. I totally agree with you, and I'm sure he's always near me, too. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you.

kathy d. said...

I truly hope that you, together with the cat quintet had a nice, food-and-book-filled Thanksgiving.

Sure that they were glad you were home.

That Jinx is turning out to have even more of a nose for mischief, it seems.

And I agree with Bev's sentiment and yours, having gone through this many years ago. The love and memories you will always have near you to cherish and hold close.

Best wishes for the rest of the holiday weekend, and can't wait to read all about the books you finished. (I see a post above I must read.)

Lesa said...

Thank you, kathy. You're right. The cats were glad to have me home, and it was just where I wanted to be. Ah, Jinx. He's such a joy.

Thank you, kathy! I hope you have a good weekend as well. (I mailed my Christmas cards this morning!)

kathy d. said...

Lesa, you are so well-organized, it puts us to shame.

I finished Barbara Fister's book, read three New York Times' issues, did the puzzles and rewatched the thriller "No Way Out."

Productive, I think not.

And Jinx does sound like a joy.

Lesa said...

I bought Jinx a new toy, today, kathy, and you should see him carrying it around the house.

Oh, this would be the day I normally put up decorations, but my cleaning people aren't coming until Monday, so I'll do them next Saturday. Then, I want to go see the new movie, The King's Speech, on Sunday morning. It still takes me a while to decorate, but I haven't put up a tree for the last couple years. My older cats are fine with trees, but I have the feeling Josh would be a disaster. He likes to eat things - telephone cords, computer cords. He's never outgrown it (sigh), so I don't know what he'd do with a tree.

kathy d. said...

Jinx must have been adorable carrying that cat toy around.

Yes, cats and Christmas trees and decorations and wires. There are so many warnings about this now and cats chewing on things.

Hope it works out. Maybe the tree should go in a room where you can shut the door when you are not home.

Bonnie said...

What a beautiful post Lesa, your attitude of gratefulness is so inspiring. This is such an honor to Jim, you were both blessed to have each other. I lost my dear grandmother this summer and miss her immensely. I treasure her memories and try to focus on all the life lessons that she gave me. I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving spending it the way you chose to.

Lesa said...

Kathy,

The only room like that is where I'm putting my mother while she's here. (grin) That is where we put the tree for a few years, until we got Josh. And, he's sitting on my lap right now, purring away. But, no tree this year, no matter what he says!

Lesa said...

Bonnie,

I know what you mean. When my grandmother died, my mother gave me a couple things that still mean a great deal to me. She gave me back the copy of A Cup of Christmas Tea that I had given Grandma, with a lengthy note written in it, and she gave me Grandma's little notebook, where she kept her list of books. My mother understood what Grandma and I shared. It was important to keep those memories.

Anonymous said...

Lesa,
What a beautiful Thanksgiving post!

Hugs from Brenda W.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Brenda, and thank you for stopping by my blog. Hugs back!

Larry Bailey said...

What a fantastic attitude, Lesa! I hope today's not too tough for you. Happy Thankgiving!