Thanksgiving Memories

Today I will be out of town on our tour of the state to see both of our families in one day. For my post, I decided to share with you my contribution to the Thanksgiving book that my mother-in-law put together for the family last year.

Thornton Wilder once wrote “We can only said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” I believe this to be true. No matter what is going on in my life, stopping to remember all that I have to be grateful for both lifts my spirits and humbles me at the same time.

In my childhood, Thanksgiving meant family dinners, opportunities to see relatives that I did not get to see often and of course - pumpkin pie, dressing and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I remember watching that parade every Thanksgiving morning. I was entranced by the beautiful floats and large balloons.

When the parade was over, we would go to my Mom’s side of the family for lunch. My Grandmother worked so hard to prepare a feast. The table would be beautifully laid out with her best china, the best turkey she could find, her famous dressing and the best pumpkin pie ever made. My Grandfather would ask for blessing on the food. Then, we would go around the table and list out what we were thankful for, eat, and have a wonderful time of fellowship.

Afterwards, we would head over to my Dad’s side of the family for dinner. This Grandmother also worked very hard to prepare a feast. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and I would all gather in the kitchen as my Grandfather asked for blessing on the food. After this feast, my cousins and I amused each other with the various games that we made up until it was time to go home for bed.

With J, I have had the privilege of celebrating Thanksgiving with this family. All of you mean so very much to me, and I cherish the time we spend together.

The best Thanksgiving I ever had took place while I was in college. J came to my house that afternoon. In my living room, he asked me if I would marry him. I was so surprised that my hand was shaking like a leaf as he slid the ring on my finger.

My family’s Thanksgiving is different now. Alzheimer’s disease has forever changed our traditions. With my Dad’s side of the family, our Thanksgiving meal now usually takes place in a restaurant. For my Mom’s side of the family, my cousin has tken over hosting duties – including the famous family dressing recipe. As for me, I attempt to recreate my Grandmother’s pie (even though I can never quite make one as beautiful as hers). But the most important thing about Thanksgiving has not changed. The love that we feel for each other still holds us together.

Through the years, I have learned to use every Thanksgiving Day as an opportunity to take note of the many blessings that God has provided for J and I. We are very blessed in the life that we have been given. For this reason, I want to hold on to this spirit of Thanksgiving not only on this special day, but throughout the year.

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