I am writing this out of gratitude. Thanksgiving and Christmas have often been lonely times for me, but not necessarily sad ones. I know that single people can get lonely at the holidays and often depressed. I hear that suicide rates are higher around the holidays.
When I was a bachelor, I used to be the one who always worked the holidays since I had no family to be with. Since being in North Carolina, I have been able to go back to New England to be with family for Christmas, but Thanksgiving is often the one holiday where I find myself alone. One year I was invited to the home of a friend of mine with his family, many of whom I had never met. A few years, I ended up having dinner with a ministry group that would put on a dinner at their thrift store facility. A few times I have been invited to spend the day with friends. A few years I have gone to Ryan's Steakhouse, since they are open and serve a Thanksgiving feast for a price.
This year is my first Thanksgiving as a single man after 13 of them as a married man. As a matter of fact, this Sunday will be my 13th wedding anniversary, and my last anniversary. I am not celebrating it, since I have been separated from the psycho bitch from Hell for over three months now.
I was planning on going to Ryan's again this year and being available to work, since it was going to be just me. Two different friends have invited me for dinner on Thanksgiving, and for that I am grateful. One friend was the first to invite me over to her home, along with all of her family. She has siblings coming down from New England and up from Florida for a gathering, and since we are good friends, she invited me there, too. Another dear friend of mine whom I have known for a decade and a half (and had Thanksgiving at his home at least once, maybe twice so far) also invited me for dinner. Unfortunately, I am not able to clone myself and be at both locations.
I am grateful for the invitations. To both friends, you have my sincere gratitude. I give thanks for the invitations to feast at Thanksgiving with you. Both people are very kind to me and I do not want to overlook the opportunity to express publicly my thanks. I do so publicly in the hopes that others will do the same for people who may also be alone, have nowhere to go, and nobody to share the sacred time with. At Ryan's, I see all too many people who are there alone or just a couple together. I know what that is like. Been there, done that.