Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Back to the Fold by J. Hope Suis

Welcome to the second post in the series from J.Hope Suis. A post from November 2016 on the subject of Thanksgiving which of course is this Thursday. Is there someone missing from your dinner table this Thanksgiving who is out somewhere in the world and that you have become estranged from for some reason? Is there any chance that you might reconnect by reaching out to them? Perhaps you are the one not included in the family celebrations; could this be your chance to step back into the fold?

Back to the Fold by J. Hope Suis

I was 75% into a non-traditional, yet festive Thanksgiving Day blog when the words just stopped. It was light and frivolous and very likely to show up one day soon. But it didn’t fit my mood. Originally I wasn’t going to do one at all. People are busy today. Plus there is really nothing new under the sun about the holiday. We know the origins. We are all extremely grateful for our blessings. We live an abundant and wonderful life all things considered. But something kept nagging in the back of my brain. So I decided to just relax a minute and see what else came through my turkey and pumpkin pie haze. So for the next few minutes, without too much filter or editing, I’m going to just speak (aka type) from my heart.

Thanksgiving (and the holiday season in general) is about family. Friends. Gathering and Celebration. We all put on our best and fresh faces and garments. Pull the finest china and goblets from the back of the hutch. Light the candles. We look around at the happy faces and stuffed bellies and feel accomplished and satisfied. All of those things are wonderful. Meaningful. Excellent. But I dare say in many gatherings today, there will be someone missing from the fold. Someone, who at one time was welcomed at the table to share a slice of ham or cranberry sauce. So where are they today? Do we know? Do we want to know? Am I depressing you and ruining the holiday?

There are empty place settings around certain tables because of the ultimate loss. For those I am truly saddened and my sympathies are abundant. It has been several holidays now for me without my mom or my dad. There are those missing because of work or distance or other obligations. But those are not the ones I’m referring to. I am asking each of us to consider the proverbial lost sheep.

Individuals get disconnected from families for a variety of reasons. It can be a bad decision. They took a path that was not in line with the family values. They got lost in a place that seemed shiny on the outside but painful and dark on the inside. Maybe they want to escape but don’t know how. Maybe they chose partners or associates that made the family uncomfortable. Unfortunately biases and misconceptions exact a high price. The resulting toll quite damaging.

It could be because of hurt feelings. Something said last week or 20 years ago. Often words no one even remembers. How common is that? Feuds and angry feelings fester and are passed down and the original slight cannot even be recalled. Or maybe it can be recalled. Maybe it is heard in the back of your mind every day.

I do not have any real answers. I understand some transgressions are severe and cannot just be ‘forgotten’. Wise people choose to leave a bad situation because it is the healthiest thing for them. Those decisions I applaud and encourage. It takes a brave soul to rebuild and heal yourself. At times doing it all alone.

However occasionally it is just plain stubbornness that keeps us apart. The unwillingness to forgive or ask for forgiveness. Squaring off at a virtual line with each party just waiting for the other one to flinch. Is it really that monumental and earth shattering? Is it worth years of separation and fracture?

Here is my suggestion. If at any point in reading this someone crossed your mind then stop a minute to consider them. Is there a path to reconnect? Today could be the perfect opportunity to reach out with a phone call or text. Say Hello. Say I Love You. Say I’m Sorry. Say I Forgive You. Say something…. Who knows, maybe they were there holding their phone wanting to do the same thing.

And if you are the one alone today or feel estranged, please know this. There are times when standing alone is the hardest yet greatest gift you can give yourself. Find friends and like-minded individuals who can and will support you. But if you have left the family fold and regret it and want back in…. Take action. It is never too late. Again, be brave. Stir up the courage to be humble enough to admit a mistake. Let today be a fresh start.

Please, please do not let these few words put a damper on your festivities. Maybe they were just meant for me. Maybe there is someone missing from my table. Maybe I am the preacher AND the choir. But if just one person reading this reaches out to a loved one today… then for THAT I will be truly THANKFUL.


©J. Hope Suis 2016

My thanks to Hope for this inspiring post for Thanksgiving and I am sure she would love to receive your feedback.

About J. Hope Suis

J. Hope Suis is an inspirational writer and relationship expert with over 20 years of experience in single-parenting, dating, relationships, with a phrase she coined as “Solitary Refinement”, which is simply a season of being single to grow and develop as an individual. Her new book, Mid-Life Joyride, is a light-hearted yet meaningful collection of stories, advice and encouragement from her experiences.

Her passion in life is Hope Boulevard, which is a blog and website focused on uplifting and challenging her readers to live their best life now. She is a strong advocate for mid-life issues and committed to the idea of sharing ‘hope’. In addition to her blog, she also wrote a weekly newspaper column entitled; “A Single Thought”. J. Hope currently writes for,, has a platform on and has been cited in national magazines including the Chicago Tribune and Reader’s Digest. She believes it is never too late to pursue a dream or achieve a goal and always encourages her followers to Hope With Abandon.

J. Hope Suis celebrated her brand new release published on 24th October…Mid-Life Joyride: Love in the Single Lane by J. Hope Suis

About the Book

Mid-Life Joyride is the ultimate user’s manual for mid-life relationships. Being single in mid-life is not usually where many SIMs (Single In Mid-Life) expected to wind up. In Mid-Life Joyride, J. Hope Suis takes SIMs on an incredible and often humorous journey from how they ended up here (widowed, divorced, or never married) to learning to love again. With a lighthearted yet meaningful collection of stories, advice, and encouragement from both personal and anecdotal experiences, she provides insightful navigational tools for every SIM including:

* Entering the dating cyber highway, creating your profile, and recognizing red flags
* Dating etiquette as a SIM (who now pays for the date and what not to wear.)
* Developing and maintaining new relationships and when to walk away
* Learning and discovering how to love yourself FIRST
* Sexcapades of today’s boomers

Mid-Life Joyride is a manual for SIMs as they discover (and own) their current situation and explore the possibility of new roads to travel and paths to pursue. With a personal RPS – Relationship Positioning System – Suis guides hearts towards personal happiness in a relationship whether it be a long term-term monogamous commitment, marriage or even being content staying single. Buckle up and laugh your way through an adventure to being the best version of YOU.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mid-Life Joyride is a great book for navigating the single life. It is well written with attention to detail and easy to understand. It is very insightful for both genders if they really want a successful, committed relationship. Such great advice on navigating all of the issues in dating and relationships and I love the references to the road. I think guys will enjoy that too.

While the book is mainly about dating and relationships, the author also touches on the most important relationship we all have, and that is our relationship with ourselves. Learning to love and take care of ourselves, following our dreams, maintaining our friendships, and forcing us out of our comfort zones to genuinely appreciate everyday of our lives. This is provided in such an upbeat and positive way that you can’t help reaching the end of the book and saying YES, I can do that, I can BE that, and just an overall good feeling about life. A must read for anyone living the single life, you won’t want it to end !!!

Head over and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Connect to J.Hope Suis


If you would like to share some of your festive archive posts for December from when you began blogging, then please send one or two links to

This entry was posted in blogging, Book Promotion and tagged , by Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. My previous jobs are only relevant in as much as they have gifted me with a wonderful filing cabinet of memories and experiences which are very useful when putting pen to paper. I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. You can find the whole story here. Find out more at

14 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Back to the Fold by J. Hope Suis

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Archives – Back to the Fold by J. Hope Suis – The Militant Negro™

  2. No, J. Hope, you make some good points. My mom-in-law always held huge holiday dinners that she cooked mostly herself serving as many as 30 family members. Now she is 101 and instead of someone taking over for her we have all gone our own ways. This is, in part, from the new generation of grandchildren coming up and children moving far away and/or having obligations to their spouse’s family. Still, like you, I miss something that I know will never come back in my time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is sad when traditions fall by the wayside. It does open up roads to new ones, but it can also be sad. It sounds like your mother-in-law was a fantastic lady who provided many beautiful memories.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Christmas Promotions, ABBA, 1984, Garlic and Onions and a cast of many | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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