November 26, 2009

"There's No Crying in Flora"



Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.


We were on the way to Flora, driving past minivans with DVD players glowing in the backseat, and watching houses lit up for Christmas fly by. I felt my phone vibrate; my dad, calling to wish me a happy Thanksgiving since we both would be busy that day. For a second or two after the phone call, I looked out the passenger side window and felt a little bit like sticking out my lower lip and letting a few tears fall. I'm overly sentimental about holidays for the most part, and I felt bad in a way for not being at his house with all my Smith aunts and uncles. But when we parked the car in front of Sky's mom's house, and I walked up the familiar steps into the living room, I remembered that I was spending Thanksgiving with my family, albeit members I hadn't known quite as long.

There was every food imaginable, laid out on every flat surface in the house. His brothers both made me blush, his mom and step dad encouraged me to get in line to eat, and the several kids there ran around, tattling and playing, until some tears made his mother announce, "There's no crying in Flora." There never has been.

It's a relief, all this. Usually, people are supposed to dread visiting the in-laws, right? But, just has Sky has insisted comfort and ease from the first day we met, so has his family. I am constantly aware that I am lucky to have him, that I couldn't ask for a better man- today I was reminded that I also couldn't ask for a better out of town Thanksgiving.

So it's obligatory, on this day, to list things to be thankful for- my list is too long. But the short version is this: I am thankful for so much- for the home I live in, for the job I have. I'm thankful for the relationship I have again with my father, and that he's become one of the few people I truly admire. I'm thankful that Andy and Sky made it back to Illinois, safe and sound. I'm thankful that that Sky has wonderful kids who can see me coming in the door after weeks of being away and still say, "Erika!" I'm thankful for his mom, who makes me feel like a daughter. I'm thankful for my best friend, who I can be my true, immature, and even whiny self with, and that I can laugh with her so hard that I can't breathe. I'm thankful that I'll see my little brother and mom tomorrow, and that I'll have some real home cooking for a couple days when they're here. Last but not least, I am thankful for Sky-for giving me something to write about all these posts, because he's become the greatest muse.

2 kind comments from you:

Nikomas said...

So what you're saying is that the reason Sky is so great is because I'm so great?

chambanachik said...

Hmm...I think you're all great! :)

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