I was born on Thanksgiving Day. It’s been a running joke in my family that I am the Turkey, I cost mom her real turkey dinner, dad had to eat alone with his in-laws, the nurses bitched they were at the hospital not home with their families etc. Not the best holiday to be born on, but definitely not the worst.
Over the last 39 yrs (yep countdown is on to the big 4-0 now) I couldn’t tell you how many times my birthday has actually fallen on Thanksgiving..I think I remember it happening when I was 11..maybe again in my teens, and now today. It’s kind of cool, being all together anyways, having a feast, then just adding the cake in as a bonus. As we get older, the presents and cake and party all sort of lose the magical feel, and it’s just another day, another year older.
This year is my first Thanksgiving or birthday without my mother-in-law, who passed in March. She was more like a mother to me than a mother-in-law, never having made me feel that I was stealing her son, but more that she had gained a daughter and she loved me very, very much. Obviously she crosses my mind often..but last night going to sleep I had no idea that I would wake up with such a conscious ache that this is the first significant holiday without her and I get double whammied. I miss her. A lot.
I’ve written about losing her, and some other family members in my blog titled ‘loss’. It’s been tough with Logan, and I’m sure more than once today he will mention Nanny.
Holidays are often rushed. We are often racing around, wanting everything perfect, is the gravy too thick? The turkey too dry? Ugh too much/not enough salt in the potatoes. We might push kids aside “get out of the way of the TV! the games on!!” Really, looking back on past holidays, do you remember every bite of your meal? Do you remember who won every game? Or do you remember the time spent, who may have shown up or sat next to you, what you learned about someones life that day? Maybe you sat around and laughed at old memories, stories of years gone by when the kids were small and had squash stuck in their hair at the dinner table.
I am not one to ‘preach’ about tradition or tell you that you aren’t doing it right, that’s not what I’m saying here at all. I’m simply saying my mother-in-law is gone. My grandparents are gone. My uncle is gone. All I have left of them are these memories of the times spent together. So when you’re pushing a kid aside to mix the potatoes, or shushing your mom because a score is being announced, remember you can never, ever get that moment back to do over.
This holiday, love. Laugh. Live together in the moment. Take lots of pictures. Blow off the stress, let it go. Perfect is boring, these moments are not forever. They are fleeting, they are gone in an instant-cherish them, embrace them.
Happy thanksgiving to you and yours. I hope everyone has a wonderful day full of laughter, love and warm embraces. If you are estranged from someone you wish you were with today, make the call, say your peace. Life flies by us, so many of us are on the fast track. Take this day to slow the pace.
Peace & love.