In a few hours, my cousin Judy and I will welcome my family - Vivian, Charlie, and Jayden - to our beach home to celebrate our very first Thanksgiving here. I am happy and truly grateful for this gathering!
Thanksgiving is the biggest celebration in America, surpassing even Christmas or New Year. Unlike in Vietnam, where New Year is celebrated for 7-10 days, in America, it's only on the first day of the New Year. However, on Thanksgiving, most people have a four-day long weekend, making it a time for family gatherings. AAA estimated that 45 million people would travel this holiday to be with their loved ones.
I love Thanksgiving! Every single day, I give thanks for what I have. I love making food and serving the people I love. This year is especially significant for us because it could be the last time we are together on this special holiday. Who knows when I will be able to spend another one like this with my children? I am truly thankful for my cousin Judy and John, who opened their hearts to welcome us to their lovely home. I have enjoyed my stay here so far. It feels surreal at times.
The holiday is a joyful time for many, but it can be a painful time for those who have just lost their loved ones. The first holiday without their loved ones must be the hardest. Early this morning, Judy came into my room and shared with me how painful she felt last night for missing her late mom. She stood there at my bedroom door talking about her feelings, but she didn’t face me directly. I could see painful tears streaming down her eyes. I heard her mention that the loss of her Mom hit her like strong waves on certain days and nights, but I cannot fully understand her feelings as I have not been in her shoes yet. I hope time will heal all wounds for Judy and all those who lost their loved ones.
Cherish your loved ones while you can. A holiday without them is no holiday. May you have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving! ♥️
Crystal H. Vo
Thanksgiving’s Eve 2023