Thanksgiving has always been about being together as a family and as we approach Thanksgiving day tomorrow, I can't help thinking about how things have changed over the years of my life. While memories can give us solace at times, it also gives me a sense of sadness too.
As a child growing up, the holiday season...Thanksgiving and Christmas meant family get-togethers with a huge variety of foods...enough to last for days afterwards. Turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, cranberry sauce, breads of all kinds and of course the pies. Lots of pies. Pumpkin, blueberry, mincemeat, apple, cherry, pudding pies...yummy!
In those days, the house was full of laughter and good conversations between my parents, aunts and uncles, and my cousins and I. Good times.
As I went into adulthood with my own children in tow, I tried to keep that family tradition alive during the holidays, with the large varieties of foods and the large selection of pies for our desert later; tried to keep that sense of family intact.
However, in the past couple of years, as my children grew into their own families, the tradition has suffered a slow death of sorts. Last year, my youngest son spent the holiday with his in-laws, and of course, my oldest spent his in prison, isolated from the rest of us. I spent the two holidays with my daughter and her three children, relinquishing the helm to let her do all the cooking and pie baking...which also meant that there was a reduction in the amount of food prepared as there was now only 5 of us.
This year...while I will be cooking a meal for my brother, niece and myself, there won't be the baking nor the sense of family or tradition. My youngest will spend his Thanksgiving with his girlfriend's family, and my daughter will take her children to spend the day with her in-laws. And once again, my oldest son will spend his away from all of us...locked behind iron gates and razor wire.
Tomorrow will likely be a melancholy day for me...although I will try my best to not be sad and try to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive...giving thanks for all that I do have despite all the changes over the years.
May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving here in the US...and for those of you abroad...have a wonderful and thankful day!
Thanks for reading.