We operated for a week or so as if the words weren’t hanging like Spanish moss in the air. Wispy, yet a high allergen level sure to make someone react at some point. It was getting close to Thanksgiving now and the planning and cooking and decorating had begun. I do Thanksgiving. I’ve done thanksgiving for the last 17 years. One day my parents had walked up to my sister and I and said “Choose a Holiday, it’s getting you be too much for us” I chose Thanksgiving. Why? Cause growing up there was only 5 of us. We would get up early, get all dressed up and sit there. Waiting for no one. No one arrived, no one visited, it was just us, which was fine. However my mother made the most plain meal known to Pilgrims anywhere. Every holiday in my house was done Italian style except Thanksgiving and I hated it. I missed the tradition of food and family and drinks and laughter. Thanksgiving seemed so much more solemn than it should have been. So Surprise Party Man and I were having everyone over. We would show his family how in love we were, how we knew what we were doing and I guess that I was worth their son. So it’s Thanksgiving morning and the food is bought, the prep is done, the Turkey is in the oven and guests are scheduled to arrive soon and then the door opens…..He walks in, gives me a kiss, hands me a cup of coffee and is staring at the floor. I asked what’s up as I whipped potatoes and basted the turkey. He very flatly said “They aren’t coming” I didn’t know what he was talking about. “Who’s not coming?” He paused again…”My family, they aren’t coming” My blood began to boil and my heart started to pound and my hair raised up on the back of my neck. “What do you mean they aren’t coming?” The next things out of my mouth were like I was speaking in tongues, I was screaming and began to cry and all the work and the decorations and the food and the turkey…..and then I asked “When is she going to call?” He seemed surprised by his question, but I was dead serious. Manners Matter. Always remember that. If she wasn’t going to make it, then at least she would have to sum up the courage to be a real woman and call to let me know. “She’s not calling” he said quietly. I got enraged and began screaming and crying and the fact that I have zero coping kills in such situations only pisses me off more. He got angry and began to yell back. He was not to be steamrolled and stood up for himself and his family, but I think it was the wrong time to be standing opposite me instead of beside me. Then he yelled at the top of his lungs “I won’t be able to do this with you the rest of my life. I cannot have to choose between you and them every step of the way. I choose them.” And in that moment I was Meredith in Grey’s Anatomy: Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me! But he didn’t. He chose them, he walked out that day and that was the end of us. My parents arrived a short time later and were also enraged. I can remember my daughters saying “Mommy we need a Thanksgiving Do Over” That we did. 30 days after the proposal was the end. It only took 30 days. I saw him just before Christmas when he called and asked if we could talk. Of course we could. I met him and we sat in my car and he cried. He told me how much he loved me, he told me how sorry he was for what had happened, but most of all, he told me the truth, which was he was not strong enough to be with me with them not approving. I felt sad for him at that moment. Cause as my history showed I would be ok, I would keep going, I would survive, but he……I wasn’t sure where life would land him. Through each and every trial and tribulation life has thrown at us we have a choice to make. We can choose for it to destroy us, we can choose for it to define us or we can choose to let it be a lesson that enables us to keep going. That is my take away from all of this. What has happened to me does not make me broken, but it has helped me put all the tiny shattered pieces back together in a way that has made me even more beautiful than I was to start with. So own your cracks, your broken parts, your damaged pieces. See how each dent has lent a hand in a beautiful work of art. Showcase your imperfections, cause they are what makes you beautiful.