Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's Not About the Free Turkey

November 24, 2011 will be the 65th time I celebrate Thanksgiving.

I do have a lot of nice memories, but I have to admit not all of them live up to "Hallmark's" version.

When I was young,  Thanksgivings were spent with my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

As I, my two brothers and three sisters got older, dinner was at my parent's house.

Then I got married and the day became a little more complicated. His parents or my parents? The compromise was that wherever we had dinner, we would save room for desert and have it with the other family.

Then we had children and by the end of the day, after dinner here and desert there, the kids were cranky, and so were we.

There were some sad Thanksgivings as our parents got older.

I have a vivid memory of my father's last Thanksgiving.  He had gotten out of the hospital after having a brain tumor removed.   He was gravely ill.   My father's three sisters made a whole Thanksgiving dinner and brought it down to my parent's house.   My dad could barely eat, but made a gallant attempt to be Thankful for his sister's kindness.

The next year, we had Thanksgiving at the house my Mom was renting, many miles away from the home she shared with my Dad and it was the first time she was ever on her own.

Then our marriage broke up and our kids had to decide who they would spend the day with.  Usually the compromise was, Thanksgiving day with their dad and the Saturday after Thanksgiving with me.

My mother died in 2009, two days before Thanksgiving.

This year is another particularly difficult one.  Joe has not been able to get around as easily as he did last year and he has not been able to eat very much lately.

So this year, where we spend Thanksgiving is not nearly as important as having everyone together for at least a little while.

Last year I knitted Christmas Stocking caps for all the kids.  I made eleven of them and had them done in time to hand out on the day we celebrated Thanksgiving.
This photo brings back a memory of a Thanksgiving that rivals any Hallmark moment.  I am thankful for that day.

This year it's not about the free turkey.  This year it's not about standing in line at Kohls at 2:00 a.m. for the door buster specials.

This year, for me it's about realizing how thankful I am for each and everyday that we can all be together -  whatever day that might be.

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