It's the Simple Things...
My earliest memories of Thanksgiving begin with waking to the smell of Turkey in the oven and coming downstairs to enjoy the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was too young to help my mom with any real food preparations, but I would help with simple tasks, like putting decorative cloths on the tables and setting out the plates and silverware. My mom would also bring up a small play table that acted perfectly as a kid’s table. Since my brother and sister were old enough to sit at the adult table, I was
left to invite my 3 closest stuffed animal friends to join me at this grand feast. Oh, and to top off this visual, my brother’s worst memory of Thanksgiving was the fact that I dressed up as a pilgrim donning a black long sleeve dress that I’m pretty sure doubled as a witch costume during Halloween, accessorized with a white apron and bonnet. I loved it and my brother thought I was the stupidest kid on the face of the earth. And if this didn’t irritate him enough, sometimes I would play the piano dressed as a pilgrim
as a Thanksgiving musical offering.
The meal plan for the most part was always the same; a relish tray, turkey, stuffing, a VAT of gravy, mashed potatoes, a variety of casseroles including: green bean, broccoli and sweet potato and a cranberry salad. Oh and of course, pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream, though secretly I preferred the cool whip. By the time we sat down for dinner, the house would be buzzing with conversation and laughter. All of this was the constant for so many years.
But alas, time moved forward. I grew out of my pilgrim dress and found an enjoyable place at the adult table. My Siblings grew up which led to marriages and new faces at the table, which lead to a generation of new kids who would find a new table that would be much more imaginative and fun then the adult’s table. The conversation continued, the laughter grew louder and the food stayed familiarly delicious as each previous year.
Time continued to move forward and our grandparents moved on from our table reminding us that every life has a finite amount of time.
These last few years and especially these last few weeks for the Back-to-Basics Family, we’ve been forced to grieve more then we believe we can tolerate. It all feels too much sometimes. For many of us going into a holiday season with so much sadness in the world around us and maybe even with a broken heart of our own we have a hard time finding peace, finding the joy of the season. However, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we celebrate Thanksgiving first; a holiday that is meant to sit us down and ask us to consider all of that which we are grateful for. And in the toughest moments when we are lost in our suffering and asked what we are thankful for, we find that we are not sitting alone in the silence of despair, or change or loneliness. But rather we are supported by an encouraging text from a friend, a shoulder to cry on when there are no words, supported by that family members who took us to appointments when we couldn’t drive, or ran errands for us when our body needed rest or that neighbor who made a dinner to share with the family, or that co-worker who asked to pray for us. Our gratitude for these small things teaches us that we have enough to persevere and we are humbled in our ability to accept help from others so we can strengthen our character to move forward towards hope. Hope that tomorrow will bring a new day, and a new day will bring a new week and a new week will bring a new month and a new month will bring us a new year and a new year will sit us around with our family once again, chatting, laughing, playing games, perusing the Black Friday ads but most importantly relishing in our memories of holidays gone by all while making new memories with growing children, feasting on that timelessly delicious Thanksgiving Meal.
Today, I am thankful for the camaraderie shared among our Back to Basics family. We celebrate each other through the highs of our pursuits of happiness and we hold space for each other during the lows. Together we definitely turn our trials in triumphs and for that, I am grateful.