Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Between my grandmother’s awesome cooking, gathering with all the family, and playing rousing games of “Oh Heck”, my childhood memories of the big food day were full of smiles. I remember how cold grandma’s house always was. How good her pie was. How we all seemed to fit in her small dining room around that massive table.
When I got married and started the great migration, I really missed those family gatherings. Brad and I did what we could. We came home a few times, invited other people over a few times, and eventually started our own traditions with our kids. Some things were important like Turkey, Pumpkin pie, and Stuffing…but the most important part was always family.
When I moved home after Brad died, I was looking forward to jumpstarting the big family Thanksgiving tradition again. I was going to be near family, so I assumed it would be as epic as I remembered as a youth. We did have several years of awesomeness. Then people started dying again, people moved again, people left on missions, went to college, got married, and made other less desireable choices. Through it all, the family ties kept us tethered in a way. Like hummingbirds, the family would dip in now and then, touch base, flutter off, return.
This year, our thanks giving is a different kind of day. Yes, the people in charge have asked us to limit large gatherings, yes people still live far away, and yes people are still making choices to distance themselves, but it is more than that.
As I look at my life, I see a year that has been rather hard on our world. Not much of the year has seen us relaxing in our comfort zones. Some of use may have been going through the same motions, but it’s been different. I think we are all on edge just a little more. Some of us are sick, some are afraid, and some are waiting. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting for those people to come home. Waiting for health to improve. Waiting for peace to find us. Waiting…
We will be at home, our little group. We will eat and play games and watch Christmas movies. We will try to stop the spinning of the world for just a little while and refocus on what matters most. Who knows what next year will bring? I can’t think about that. I can’t really affect that.
All I can do today, is look at my blessings. Count them. Line them up and lose count as I realize I am blessing beyond what I can see. Life may be hard, messy, and not what we have planned, but it is a Wonderful Life. I’m grateful for every day.
Cause I said so.
Photo credit: One Road at at Time