YUP...it's that time again. The time when we eat ourselves into a coma, and then some watch sports (not me), some spend this time with their family. In my home growing up there was a huge family on both my Mom's side and my Dad's side close to us. So we took turns getting together on holidays.
I remember as a little girl sitting at the kitchen table listening to all the ladies while they peeled, boiled, scrubbed, and chopped things into amazing delicacies. It wasn't the cooking I was interested in. (I didn't like it then, and I don't like now.) It was the family information that was dispensed in those clean, cheery kitchens. Even then I was, as my Mother described, "A little pitcher with big ears." (What does that phrase mean by the way)?
The men were all in their pre-assigned roles of sitting in front of the television screaming and cheering for their favorite sports teams. My beloved Papa didn't really care for sports...but didn't want to be in the kitchen (the women's domain). So he usual lived in a sub-world of his own, neither sportsie or kitchenish.
Oh the glorious food! Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, sometimes au gratin potatoes. So many types of pickled things, beets, cucumbers (dill and sweet pickles), I'm certain there were other types as well but I don't remember them. Breads of various and sundries sorts. Turkey...mouth wateringly juicy and delicious. (Nobody was vegetarian, but if they were they would NOT have told anybody and risked offended the cook). Desert? Who had room by the time they had ingested the above listed plus many, MANY types of vegetables?
Several hours later there were the desserts, pumpkin pies (one of my personal favorites...love that nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves combined to create unbridled joy in the palate. There was brownies, cookies of all sorts and varieties, and did I mention the REAL WHIPPED CREAM for the pie? That was almost better than the pie itself. The rich fullness of that cream was a necessity to accompany pumpkin pie. Don't skimp...I prefer the pie covered with at least an inch of whipped cream!
I didn't realize consciously that gratitude was part of my celebration until I was an adult. Oh I heard the adults mouth platitudes about their various reasons for thanksgiving. All I thought was, "Quit talking and let us eat! I'm SOOOOO hungry!"
Then (Many years later) I was married and creating my own Thanksgiving feast. It was just my husband and our precious little 2 month old daughter. I adored the realization that I was now part of my own family circle. A family that I was a part of creating. We did go to extended family celebrations but not on THE day of. Gratitude became not just a once a year thing, or especially not a mindless listening. Thanksgiving became just what it was intended to be, a platform of gracious gratitude. My heart was filled with that emotion even more than my digestive system was filled with all that luscious food!
This will be the second Thanksgiving that we have celebrated without Nyle my beloved hubby of 27 years. I thought it would get easier as time went by. Maybe it will in 10 years or 20. Right now? There is absolutely nothing even remotely close to easy about it! Indeed this second year has seemed harder as the reality becomes more intense that he is NEVER coming back to us. We, in this life, will NEVER see the man who was my sweetheart, and the adoring Papa of our daughters.
I couldn't bear for Nyle to be gone longer than two nights in our entire married life. In 1 years and 11 months of his absence it is LONG past two nights! I have always preached to others going through this exquisite type of grief that they would make it through. There would come a time when the absence didn't occupy your every waking moment. Now I feel like I was lying to them.
Yet I DO KNOW that Nyle would wish us (his family) to remember him with laughter. He loved to celebrate, and that is how he wishes us to remember him, in celebration. So we will reach out, love, and rejoice that we have so many joyous memories of Nyle. If some tears are shed along the way that is also OK. Today emotions are accepted. We can give thanks, thanks for the 27 years of love and living we were blessed to experience with Nyle, Neto, Bingo, Nagoo Nayou, Nyle the Pile, and I won't even begin to list the acting roles he played that he was called from time to time.
SALUTE my darling, and please know that with our Thanksgiving we give thanks for YOU! We didn't get to keep you long enough, but really when you love somebody so much, FOREVER will not be long enough!