The traditional American holiday of Thanksgiving is a day of celebration where family and friends come together and “give thanks” for life’s blessings. Of course it is usually also combined with lots of turkey, some good football, too much dessert and maybe a little Charlie Brown.
Like many families, we have things that make our Thanksgiving “ours”. Gramma always makes the dressing, mom always sets the empty dishes out first and then labels them so that she will remember what food she intended to go in it and I always fall asleep (along with my dad and Bill). Although it was our first one, I know my husband Jimmy will always want to watch the game (before he too falls asleep) and our son Nick will always try his hardest to sit still in a house full of grown-ups, until of course he gets too old and we wish he was a little wild man again!
After dinner, mom pulls out old pictures because that’s what she and I like to do. And that’s when I remember what I’m thankful for: a great life. I see pictures of my Maw-Maw and remember her recipes that my mom now cooks. I see my Papa Gene and I remember his smell and that old denim shirt. I remember Gramma letting me lick the spoon and I am thankful that she is still around to let me get a taste.
It’s strange that something so simple, something I do every year, can mean so much. I hold on to our tradition for the love of those I have lost and for the love I have for those who are with me now.
I am so excited to make traditions in my own family with Jimmy and Nick. I take pictures of us now. Like before Thanksgiving dinner. Because one day I may pull out those pictures with my kids and it will take us back and remind of us our blessings. And remind us why we “give thanks”.