The Best Surprise of All!

Thanksgiving Day is all about family. The food is a huge part, but not THE part (did the Food Snob just say that??).

It's about getting together, laughing, enjoying that time, and being so thankful for one another.

A family is like a puzzle- each part is different, but we all go together. We have our different quirks, various personalities, likes/dislikes. Some of us are quiet; some of us are definitely not. We are each so unique, yet we are all one. And when even just one of us is missing, it's never the same.

That's how I felt Thanksgiving morning. As soon as I woke up in the very early hours, my first thought was "It's not the same without Jon and Chelsey".

Our third son and his wife have been in Houston since last February: Jon, going to underwater welding school and Chelsey, working her tail off at 2 to 3 different jobs at any given time. Jon is currently working, as well. Both in retail. So, we knew that they wouldn't be able to be home this year.

Anyone who's worked retail knows that NOBODY gets off on Black Friday. I remember several years ago, working as Visual Manager for Belk and being told that even though I wasn't in sales, I was expected to be there bright and early with everyone else .

The problem was that my family would all be heading to west Texas to spend that particular Thanksgiving with Kevin, our oldest son, and Deanna, his wife. So, I quit. I was blessed to have that luxury.

Jon and Chelsey don't.

Knowing that, I got up and determined to make the best of it. Only thing is that you can work on a puzzle, get to the finish line, and find that you're missing the last piece or two- and then it's so difficult to have that complete feeling, isn't it?

We have eleven pieces to our puzzle. (Actually, twelve, but that piece is keeping warm in the oven until January). Like any mom, I am only content to have all the pieces together. But there was nothing that I could do but accept it and do all I could to let them know they were missed.

By 6:30 a.m. they had a text from me: "Hi guys! Love you, miss you, will call you later." Then later came, and I called. But no answer. So, I left a voice mail: "Hi guys! Love you, miss you, wish you were here. I'll call again later." Later, another call and again, no answer. Deep down I felt so sad, but figured they were probably with their Houston friends, Reece and Sarah. I'd call again that evening.

Once the rest of our clan was together, I found out that Mallory (Tim, our second son's wife) had also called and gotten no answer. We all missed them and couldn't wait to get them on the phone and let them know.

We were all busy putting the finishing touches on the meal when a red car pulled into the driveway. And as you've probably guessed by the title of this post- out hopped Jon and Chelsey. This mama's heart just about burst as we all went running out to them. Yeah, I cried and hugged them over and over. I just felt this incredible and overwhelming happiness and sense of peace.

It's not a feeling I take for granted as I think of the millions of loved ones who don't get to share that special day together. Our servicemen and women must surely miss and be missed more than I can imagine. Families who are separated by more than a few hours and limited funds have to speak over the phone in the place of a hug.

So, as the evening went on and I spent time reflecting and looking intently at each of my children: Kevin, Deanna, Timothy, Mallory, Jonathan, Chelsey, Michael, Daniel, and Benjamin- all I could do was thank and praise God for the amazing gift of family, and for answering a prayer I dared not even voice.

Please scroll on down and take a look at the picture of my family. I share them with you, and pray that your own family times together are/were as special as ours was this Thanksgiving Day.

And while I love what I'm doing with this blog that I created mostly for business, I realize that all of the scheduled dinners, sold cookbooks, past and future events that I'm honored to partcipate in pale in comparison to the blessing of family.

Happy holiday season to you all- from my family to yours.
Polly~Wife, Mother, Friend, and lastly, The Food Snob

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