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I sit in my house all alone. It’s quiet. I never realize how giant my house is until these moments. My whole family came for Thanksgiving. A total of 14 people at my house for three days. It was wonderful. There was food. There was chatting. There was laughing.

And yesterday, everyone went home. Back to life. And here I sit.

Happy they all came. Happy for all the fun. But happy to have my house back, even if it feels a bit too big, a bit too silent.

The laundry is done, the sheets used by family clean and put away. The dishes are washed, sorted back into their positions. All traces of the visit tucked into the corners of my mind. Memories. Great ones.

Of cramming us all around my kitchen table for turkey and mashed potatoes. Of seeing Justice League together. Of gathering for an early Christmas for the kids. Of taking walks along my country road. Of playing with the dog and kitten. Of a basketball game to hear Ella play in the pep band. Of watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Of people filling every room with smiles. Of us being together. It doesn’t happen all the time with us spread across three states.

Treasured memories. More valuable than anything else. What I should remember when I start to stress about word counts and rejections, when I start to obsess over my weight, when I lose my mind over Christmas shopping, when I struggle to just be me.

A moment in time. One to keep, like a warm hug, when life is cold.

I hope everyone has moments like those to hold forever.