Holidays get a little easier

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 30, 2004

This past Thursday was a little easier. I guess what everyone says is true – time does heal.

Thanksgiving 2003 was one of the most unpleasant experiences I can remember.

Just a short time before, my granddaddy had died, so when I woke up that Thanksgiving morning, I couldn’t even seem to catch my breath.

I spent the entire day just hoping and praying it would soon be over so I could go back to work and get my mind on something else.

I didn’t want turkey or dressing or even momma’s famous, award-winning pie.

I didn’t want &uot;family&uot; time. I didn’t want to watch &uot;Christmas Vacation,&uot; something that’s become a tradition.

I didn’t even want to get up on Friday morning and get to the mall at 6 a.m. to shop.

And with Christmas season 2003 upon me, I could tell it was not going to get much better.

A year later, though, I found it was a little easier.

Now, when I glance at photos of me and Pappy, I don’t cry – all the time, at least. In fact, this year, I decided I needed something extra to help.

So I started a tradition of my own, and I would recommend it for anyone in a tough situation.

My tradition began on the anniversary of Pappy’s death this year. I decided that every day I would focus on one blessing that I had been given.

That first blessing was easy – my Pappy for 30 years. Other than my grandmother, I was most important to him (it’s OK, my brother already knows).

He loved me so much, and that will always be a special blessing to me.

Then day after day, I found things to be thankful for – sometimes small things like the rain, sometimes large things like my job. Sometimes specific blessings and sometimes general blessings – whatever the case, I have been able to focus on something special each day.

In approaching Thanksgiving this year, noting my blessings each day has made things a lot easier.

This year when I awoke on Thanksgiving morning, I could breathe deeply.

I was excited about turkey and dressing, and I laughed my head off while watching &uot;Christmas Vacation.&uot;

Then, Friday morning, I was raring to go at the Galleria at 6 a.m.

My new method of handling adversity seems to be working so I’ve decided to keep it up.

I’ve discovered that all the talking, discussing and medication in the world do not mean anything unless you can isolate your blessings and learn to be thankful for the little things.

Candace Parker is the news editor at the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at