I Am Bereft Today

Today is American Thanksgiving and I am bereft.

Not sad, lonely, nor wistful.

Full out bereft.

Bereft (brrr-ref-tuh) – The empty, hollow feeling in your heart when there is a piece missing and nothing can fill the void. There is no bandaid, fix, or food that can make it better. The only thing that will make it better is the piece of your heart that is missing. 

I am a ‘Camerican‘ or more commonly referred to as a ‘duely‘. I grew up in a town by Seattle called Puyallup, but now I live in the sub arctic where they celebrate Thanksgiving on a random Monday in October. Seriously! It can be at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the month. Somehow I never know when it is and it always kind of surprises me.

Its been 14 years and I am still not used to it.

Thanksgiving is supposed to be on a Thursday, they even start with the same letters. Its not ‘Manksgiving‘, nor should it be.

Most people think I miss the turkey dinner and the Black Friday specials.


I miss my family and the ‘being‘ that Thanksgiving brings.

For weeks before Thanksgiving, the leaves slowly turn red, yellow, and brown and drift to the ground creating a colorful blanket for the earth. Then fall coats, hats, gloves, and scarves make an appearance and people start to slow down and get ready for what is next.

Thanksgiving is one of the rare days that all the stores lock their doors and everyone goes home to be with their families. If you didn’t have family or can’t be with your’s, there is no doubt that you will be folded in to someone else’s family for the weekend. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is filled with prep work so Thanksgiving can be savored and properly enjoyed.

All that is required is to be thankful and be with those you love.

Waking up on Thanksgiving morning is like waking up to a cup of mulled cider. Warm, fragrant, and unhurried. The whole house slowly comes awake and feasts on a fabulously fattening breakfast, games are played, and a tasty meal is created with everyone’s help.

I miss the sounds of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade playing quietly in the background, potato mashers creating tasty simply carbs in metal pots, electric knives carving the turkey, and competitive banter from the games being played. Reading books by the fireplace, catching up on the parts of life with the people you love that you often gloss over, and not being required to accomplish anything is an amazing gift.

I don’t know anyone in America that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

Turkey and great prices on fabulous shoes is not what I want.

There is a Thanksgiving shaped hole in my heart  that cannot be filled with Turkey. The only thing that will fill is laughter, love, and just being with my family without any expectations.

Its just another day up here in Canada.

There is a piece of me that will forever be found on the last Thursday of every November at my mom and dad’s house drinking coffee and reminding my sister about the Thanksgiving she forgot to put sugar in the pumpkin pies while laughing and drinking in the fullness of life.

Today I am thankful to have such a wonderful family to miss.

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  1. Yes! This. Exactly. These are the things I miss. I mean I like turkey, potatoes and pie as much as the next person – but I miss the pace of the day, the catching up – the wholeness from gathering the whole family for one leisurely day of pure immersion into love and wonderfulness.

    How’s that for a sentimental run on sentence? Come to Top Draw and I’ll give you a hug my Camerican-duely friend!!!! 🙂

  2. Aww, this made me sad 🙁 Last night my husband (who is Canadian but lived in America for many years) was explaining why Thanksgiving is such a big deal. For me, it seems to be all about football and stuffing yourself full of turkey! But the family side is kind of lost on me anyway because I’m not particuilarly close with mine. Christmas is the big family get-together here – is that not as important in Canada?

    • Christmas is the big get together in Canada, but I still don’t get to see my family! It does seem all about turkey and football, but it just isn’t all at the same time. I know!

  3. It’s always the second Monday in October. I suppose maybe it’s earlier here in Canada because it was originally a harvest celebration and ours is so much earlier. The sentiment is the same though… a time for family and a time to give thanks for all our many blessings. Sorry you can’t be with your family today!

    • Elaine, well you have cleared that up for me! How is it that I have lived here for 14 years and not one soul has told me that it is the second Monday of October?? Oftentimes I have said things like, ‘When is this holiday again? It seems to always be changing and shifting. I vote we pick a date and stick with it.” You’re the best!

  4. Awwww! Hugs!

  5. A big hug for my heavy hearted friend!!! *hugs*

  6. Pooooor baby! I cannot figure out whether you are a sniveling female or a whimpering male! Get it together, whatever you are. Oh, of course – Bikiniorbust – how atypical California!
    We share as much love, family joy, togetherness and turkey dinner with all the requisite trimmings as any American family does, and I speak from experience having lived in California for several years! Why are you here, if you are so bloody miserable. . . why do you not go down to Skid Row and distribute some food to the homeless or those who do not have any family . . you are a pathetic whiner and I suggest you return to the Excited States of America and slobber all over your Thanksgiving traditions there, rather than knocking the most wonderful, compassionate (remember the thousands of draft dodgers who escaped to Canada from big, bad Uncle Sam), generous, mutli-cultural country in the world! Enough already! The true meaning of Thanksgiving is !Giving Thanks!; surely you must have something to be thankful for in this sub-arctic country where you have the freedom to post your pathetic comments online – why not move to Russia or, better yet, China . . . where you would not have the freedom to complain!

    • I am not a pathetic whiner and I definitely have it together. I have tons and tons to be thankful for in the country that I live in and if you had read my other post you would see that the theme of thankfulness and positive thinking run through nearly every post that I write. I am allowed to miss my family, whom I see only once a year if I am lucky, on the day that was all about family.

      In regards to your comment about giving back, I actually spent a large chunk of my day volunteering at a local school and developing some workshops that I will be giving FOR FREE to the kids on self esteem, health, and leadership.

      Also Seattle/Puyallup is in Washington state, not California.

      I am not knocking this very kind and wonderful country that I live in; just missing my family which is totally allowed whether I live in Russia, China, or in Canada. I do appreciate that Canada allows me to post my ‘pathetic comments’ online because many people have found inspiration, hope, and empowerment through my ‘pathetic’ blogging.

      • Donloree, you shouldn’t even feel obligated to respond to a comment as rude and uncalled for as this one! Obviously, Blacky has no idea who you are and what an inspiration you are to those of us who read your blog regularly. The compassionate, generous Canadians that he/she writes about welcome you and fully understand that though you’ve chosen to live here, you miss your family who are far away.

  7. If it’s any consolation I didnt celebrate Thanksgiving yesterday…
    my daughters out of town right now
    i’m home alone
    I don’t eat turkey or pretty much any of the ‘normal’ thanksgiving foods
    i dont have family here and our thanksgivings of the past are ones I’d like to permanently block out of my memory.
    for me, its just another day…but on an upside I am thankful every day so I don’t feel guilty not celebrating a day that everyone else does…

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