I was debating writing this for the past few days, but I figured if even one person could relate then it was worth writing. It has been four days since most families spent time together celebrating Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, Savannah and I never made plans to be home for Thanksgiving as we had already booked our trip home to spend time in Seattle with family around Christmas.

It's also very unfortunate that on October 15th my dad passed away so this was our first big holiday without him. We got through Halloween but that was never a huge holiday celebrated with my dad, it was another day that he went to work to provide for our family. But as a restaurant manager for 20+ years spending time in the kitchen around Thanksgiving and Christmas was always a holiday memory.

This year I was not in a great mood, almost dreading the upcoming holiday as I knew he wasn't going to be here. In years past we have had to decide if we would make Thanksgiving or Christmas traveling home for both just isn't an option as much as we would like it to be. But this year just knowing that I couldn't call him to wish him a Happy Thanksgiving or asking him one more time for that specific recipe was just tough.

I am the luckiest man on the earth to have such an amazing and supportive wife through these hard times, especially in this first year. But just like so many things in life we battle through it and realize that Dad wouldn't want us bummed out or sad on a holiday. He would be celebrating with us and wanting us to have a good time with family and friends.

Photo courtesy of Billy Jenkins

Even as difficult as it was I tried to stop feeling sad and just do as Dad would want and enjoy the time away from work and create new memories. This doesn't mean that I won't be sad again when it comes Christmas time as our trip was already planned to see him and the rest of our huge family. But the first Thanksgiving without him has passed and I will continue to create new memories and think about him often when we are able to come together as a family during those special holidays.

If you're dealing with the loss of a loved one this holiday season, please know you're not alone. If you need someone to talk to about it please reach out for help. No one should deal with a tragic loss on their own, and if there is anything I can ever do to help email me directly at billy.jenkins@townsquaremedia.com