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A Holiday of Remembering…and Thankfulness

November 25, 2015


Thanksgiving is (to me) more than a holiday of thankfulness.

It’s a holiday of remembering. It is easy for many to think on what is good, and noble, and pure at this time of year, but for others – like me, for whom this holiday is intertwined with loss – thoughts can be more bitter than sweet.

My mother would have been 67 tomorrow, on Thanksgiving day.

She’s on my mind, as usual, as we prepare for the holiday. It’s startling to realize she’s been gone nearly ten years. Even more so that I’ve managed to survive the last twenty without her…I remember vividly calling her from Maine, the first Thanksgiving I spent away from my family and scratching down the two most important recipes of the holiday: Great-grandma Velma’s pumpkin pie and mom’s stuffing. Those were the last two recipes we exchanged, and one of the last lucid phone calls we were able to have. Every holiday thereafter, there was no one to call for help as I ruined gravy and threw out batches of pie crust. Every holiday thereafter I was a self-taught chef, learning from my own mistakes without the consolation of a mom to tell me that it was going to be okay.

What was raw and bleeding for so long, has, somewhat, healed over, but it doesn’t take much for the wound to reopen. I suppose it will always be that way.

I don’t think I would want it any different.

Hug your people tight this week. Cherish them. This season, I’m trying to be thankful for what annoys me most; behind ever irritation is a blessing. Those dirty socks represent precious, beloved feet. The toothpaste in the sink, the dog hair, the boy-smells wafting down the hall… a miasma of blessings in disguise. The house I have to live in, the husband who loves me in spite of myself, those boys, my health. I want to cherish my daily mundane.

A tuning of my heart to see the grace in the everyday.

Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise

So much to be thankful for. Have a blessed and joyous holiday!

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