Thanksgiving VIII

Thanksgiving VIII

I’ve been wrestling with an acute sense of loss over the last couple of weeks. November 18th marked the one-year anniversary of the death of my sister, Erin. That day also marked the three-year anniversary of the death of my stepfather, Byron. That those two passings should share a date is less coincidental than I’d like, but we will never know just how linked they are. As I write this it is Wednesday, the 25th, and this would have been my sister’s 46th birthday. It’s not an easy time for my family and it’s not easy for me to discuss, with them, or anyone else.

Perhaps it’s fitting that tomorrow is Thanksgiving as it asks me to consider the good in my life. I have much to celebrate.

My boys are healthy, and there’s rarely a day that goes by when I don’t take a look at The Deuce and consider just how close we were to never knowing this kid. Honestly, that’s plenty.

The fact that I now called Santa Rosa home is huge. It’s something my wife and I wanted for four years before we were able to make the move. That it took that long was due to the unavoidable reality that we couldn’t make the move until she found a job up here. Within that are two things I’m most grateful for this year. My wife found a job she loves and it has given her a sense of fulfillment that she previously had only enjoyed as a parent. Now she has it on two fronts. The other point is that our move  to Santa Rosa owes entirely to her persistence. She interviewed more than a dozen times, was turned down more than a dozen times. Each time she was passed over hurt, hurt enough for me to see, hurt more than an extra glass of Chardonnay could soothe, but she endured. I don’t know that I could have done what she did. So, this year, I can say I’m grateful to my wife, yet again, and need to celebrate her determination tomorrow.

Thanks for reading, and let us know for what you’re thankful.

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10 comments

  1. Bruce Mackey

    I’m thankful for so many things but most pertinent here is a writer willing to share his love of cycling and family in such a meaningful and elegant way. Thank you for this blog, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  2. Pat O'Brien

    Last year we were just starting a early Sunday morning ride when we saw a tandem crash just across the intersection. We stopped to help, along with other cyclists and a driver, and stayed until the ambulance came. Those tandem riders were our Thanksgiving guests today. People leave us, and others come in. They don’t replace the ones who had to leave, but they help, a lot. I live with my wife and riding buddy, our little dog, in a nice little house, in a nice little town. I am content. And living where you want to live is huge indeed. Many people never find that special place and then inertia traps them where they are.

  3. Michael

    I am thankful for my family and friends, the great life we lead, and the great jobs we have. Yep, there are certainly some things I don’t like but they seem minor when I stop and step back and really look at things. That is what I like about Thanksgiving – stopping to look.

  4. Aar

    First and foremost, I am thankful for my wonderful, loving wife who is the most level-headed, thoughtful person I’ve ever met. I am grateful for every day that she is in my life.

    Omnipresent to me at this time, I am also thankful for medical technology, a wonderful surgeon, excellent physical therapists, good benefits/employer and the determination I have been able to muster for the total knee replacement I received five weeks ago and, with all humility, the truly exceptional recovery I am making. As I make my first road ride since the surgery this Saturday, I am also thankful to have some wonderful cycling friends who will sacrifice part of their holiday ride to join my “gimp ride”. 30 minutes at 10 mph is pathetic in the overall scheme but huge for me, given that 5 minutes on the trainer brought growls of determined agony and many tears just three weeks ago. I look forward to this recovery continuing unabated until I regain all of my cycling fitness and, hopefully, more. This is a truly wonderful time in my life.

    Patrick, I wish you, yours and all of RKP nation a phenomenal Thanksgiving time. Thank you for this exceptional forum.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      I hope your ride went well. There are plenty of times when the length doesn’t matter; it’s all about the company.

  5. Marc

    A year ago on Nov. 20th my wife was hit while riding her Moots fatbike and died from her injuries. So I also know your pain and I also treasure my memories of her and our many rides together. That day I lost my best friend and favorite riding buddy. Through the year there have been lots of changes- some good and some bad. I learned a lot from her and gained more than I realized. Treasure every day you have left here.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      I’m so sorry Marc. I wish I could offer something that would truly comfort you, but my words aren’t up to that task. Thanks for being part of this forum.

  6. Peter

    This year was a hard one. First Thanksgiving my mother hasn’t been there since pancreatic cancer took her. Could have sworn I heard her voice in the next room countless times at the gathering this year. Some things never leave you it seems.

    I’ve had a hard time actually sitting down and giving thanks this year. Family health struggles, financial and job struggles, and the constant nag in all of us that there is something better are always in my mind this year. It’s part of the reason I ride: to fight against those feelings–to achieve something more.

    My goal for now is to just start recognizing the good things; the little things. I hope that all of you had a wonderful thanksgiving.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      I’m sorry for you loss Peter. This part of our lives—losing our parents—is among the toughest things we face. It’s all the tougher when the rest of life isn’t going well. As we like to say, there will be chaos—keep pedaling.

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