The vase in this photo is the centerpiece from the dining table at my brother's, whom we had Thanksgiving dinner with. I liked that my sister-in-law had gone out into the yard to find branches with some remaining leaves and then added a single sprig of evergreen to the mix. Simple and elegant. Tasteful and congruent. It represented a blending of the seasons - fall and holiday that I can handle. Not like the huge urns of mums out at the shopping malls right up against the garish red and green wreaths and mistletoe.
Anyway, the dinner went well and relations with my family have improved all around. As hard as it is for me to accept this, I must take some responsibility for fostering better and more consistent contact despite the current obstacles in my life. Will we ever be the Waltons or Brady Bunch? No, but things can always be better and we can hope for improvement as well and not give up.
The boys and I visited with Sam over the weekend arriving home Wednesday night. I needed to get away for myself and Sam and I had not seen each other since mid-August. It is exceedingly difficult to maintain this relationship but we have continued to hang in there. I felt as if a huge weight was off my shoulders the few days of our visit, even though Sam worked Mon-Wed. Just being with another adult (and male besides) helps me in that way. He was off Sunday and treated the boys to a pizza buffet while he and I went to Ruby Tuesday on our own. Whenever we come back I am struck by how fast our time went. I never turned on the computer once, or accomplished much of anything. Sam and I made dinner one night together and that was fun. We always say we'll talk more than we end up doing - he remains committed to my staying here the next year and a half so my youngest can finish high school. He feels it is only fair to both the boys. Right now that seems so far away to continue to be struggling here on my own.
I am trying to develop the mindset of focusing on doing what I want to do and then doing so. I wanted to see Sam, I went for myself. So many times over the past years I have deferred my own desires for that of others. A small step but one that I will continue to try and concentrate more on. I wanted to spend the time with my family despite the estrangements of the past years. More importantly, I want to relate to everyone in my life (including myself) in a more honest and forthright manner. To being about healing and understanding and not be pointing fingers - that doesn't get anyone anywhere.