Gratitude this Thanksgiving
and thank you to you too.
Chantal and I at Colour Me Rad in 2013
This is a weird holiday for me. It was Thanksgiving of 2014 that my sister Chantal passed away. This October 10th will mark four years since her death. And while it may seem strange, I have a lot to thank you for… yes you.
When I recall Thanksgiving, I think about how I had been elbow deep making pumpkin pies and simmering my cranberry sauce when my mom called me with her first worries about Chantal. In fact, I was making two extra because Chantal hated all pies, except for my pumpkin pie and even though we weren’t having dinner together that night, I’d promised her she’d get her fix. I remember reassuring my mom because I was confident she was fine and just being a seventeen-year-old and had killed her phone somehow. Things are mostly a blur but there was also a moment at Friends-giving where sweet potatoes were being passed around and I excused myself because panic was setting in as we still hadn’t heard from her. It was only a few hospital phone calls later that my call waiting beeped and I heard my mom screaming on the other line as the police were at her door to inform her of the car accident.
While still undoubtedly painful, I’ve decided to look at this day as special because it reminds me so deeply that I should be grateful. Grateful for having had Chantal as my sister for seventeen years, grateful for my strong family who show love and joy while still honouring her, and grateful for my friends who have allowed me to thrive despite my loss. And of course, grateful for Roman who was the most incredible rock through the worst of my grief and every wave that’s crashed on me since.
As I’ve always been open about this, I thought it was only appropriate that I share with you, as a member of this community, whether I know you personally or not, an extra large thank you too. RSVP 33 is so much more than me and my selfish desire to dance to Beyonce songs at this point. This community and everyone who shared an hour in the studio with me, especially in those first few months, helped me heal as much as those I listed above. And for that, I thank you, deeply.
Our wounds ground us in our humanity; we all suffer and we all can rise. On this day more than any other, I have a gratitude for this community and how as a part of it, you have helped build me back up.
So with that, I’m wishing you all a wonderful, happy, belly-full-of-yummies, and face-hurts-from-smiling Thanksgiving. And give those you love an extra squeeze for me please. :)