This year has brought on so many new experiences, many of which feel so sad without my sister, and many that feel so different now that we have Norah. It has been strange to look back at each holiday last year and remember it was only with Maya. Life was so VERY different, just a year ago. Traveling 18 hours in a car is much easier with just one child, paying for food was so much easier with one child, but sharing the Thanksgiving holiday with an even bigger family was so much better!
Thanksgiving was not all about Norah, but she is what I am going to write about right now.
This year at Thanksgiving I really thought of Norah so much. I watched her with all of her cousins, squealing, laughing, and just having so much fun! I thought of her life before, with mommy Carrisa and how Thanksgiving would have brought family, but in a different way. For a moment I felt so thankful that Norah had this big family with lots of children to play with, with a huge house to run around, to play outside, to get an unlimited supply of juice boxes that her aunt and uncle supplied, I just felt grateful that she had this, that she has us..........but inside I was still so torn because even with her fitting in so well and having such a wonderful Thanksgiving it still seems like it would be better for her to have her real mother alive, even if it meant not such a glamorous Thanksgiving.
I know I told all of you that the last time I saw my sister alive was the first week of November, well it was the last time I saw her in person. Actually, the last time I saw her alive was on Thanksgiving day last year when we skyped. Our time skyping was fairly short, enough to say hi and see Norah being silly over the computer. Thanksgiving was at Carrisa's house last year and we were in Houston. Now this year we were in Houston again and Norah was with us.....how can than be? It seems so strange in my head and it is hard to sort out. My mixed up emotions leave me wondering what to think, what to say, and how to fully embrace Norah.
Norah and mommy Carrisa, Thanksgiving 2010
Norah shared a room with her cousin Ella (5 yeasr old) and each morning I could her them talking and giggling together. One morning Ella came to me and said, "Norah told me that she misses her other mommy and daddy, the ones that died." Ella knows a little of the situation, but as a 5 year old doesn't fully understand it, but her comment was enough to pour a little sadness into my heart.
That was not the only thing said that pulled on my heart. On our last day in Houston Norah had to be disciplined by mommy and daddy and while I was talking with her about why she was in trouble she looked at me and said, "I miss mommy Carrisa, I miss my other mommy." Talk about pulling on my heart strings...... sigh...... I knew she would use this against me someday but I didn't think she would use it at age 2. People have told me not to show that it hurts when Norah starts making comments like this one, but the really hard thing for me is that I really miss mommy Carrisa too, so it is hard to hide my emotion.
I won't ever stop talking about her though, about Carrisa to Norah. I want her to know as much about her mother as she can, even if that means she uses it against me when she is mad.
I have so many photos of Thanksgiving, but on this post I am just going to show some of Norah, of thanksgiving from her perspective. I will reserve many of the other photos for a different post.
so thankful for Brett's family embracing Norah as their own
time with a new uncle
a new cousin
a new aunt
so much time outside
Norah's reindeer headband was my favorite, either she is super abstract and creative, or she is not crafty at all (does that make sense)
having a cousin just months apart in age
a bath tub full of blonde family
and blonde braids
a daddy to help attack
4 cousins, instead of just 2
2 sisters instead of none
and a mommy and daddy together
that is how Norah's Thanksgiving was different