In the past few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I’ve been noticing and thinking about a few things that I wanted to share.
The fourth Thursday in November is something that I always look forward to. Somehow, Thanksgiving dinner is the best meal in existence. Don’t even argue with me on this.
This year it will just be my dad and I. My husband’s boss is making him work the whole day.
At first, I was a little upset but last year when we were dating, he had to work too. Prior to knowing my husband, it was just my dad and I, because my grandparents — who we always got together with — passed away.
My uncle and cousin used to come down for Thanksgiving too but they haven’t for a few years since my grandparents died.
I remember Thanksgiving of 2017 especially well.
My grandmother had passed away a few months earlier, and my grandfather, who we lived with at the time, had been in and out of the hospital. He was in a nursing facility recovering from his bouts in the hospital — or so we thought he was “recovering”.
2017 wasn’t our family’s best year, neither was it mine personally.
I was excited for Thanksgiving that year though, because we thought my grandfather would be allowed to come home for Thanksgiving dinner and we could just bring him back to the nursing facility when the meal was over. But they wouldn’t let us take him, because there was a problem.
The whole day I was trying to keep my spirits up. Even though my grandma was gone and my grandfather was sick, at least they would let him come home for a while to eat dinner with us.
I also wanted to stay positive for my dad. That morning my dad put the turkey in the oven and we sat down to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade. This was our tradition and we wanted to keep things as normal as possible.
Early in the afternoon, I began making the side dishes for our meal. Every year since I can remember when my grandma was alive, I would help her cook. I had the recipes and ingredients literally stamped in my brain and I still do. That day in 2017, I made everything the exact same way she would. I guess by doing this every year I keep the memory of her alive.
When Christian and I have children, I will cook everything the exact same way she did. I will not change a single thing and I will cook it all by myself, so that no one messes it up. That’s how serious I am about keeping these amazing recipes and my memories of my grandma alive.
Anyway, ironically when Thanksgiving dinner was almost done that year and we were preparing to pick my grandfather up, my dad’s phone started ringing. It was the nursing care facility calling us to tell us that my grandfather would not be joining us for dinner, because he had been transported to the hospital. When my dad got off the phone with the nursing staff, I knew he was upset but he didn’t let it show.
We quickly ate our dinner in silence, which tasted like nothing to me, put the food away in the fridge, and rushed to the hospital. We were there a good portion of the evening.
My grandfather died several days later but I do not hate Thanksgiving, in fact it is one of my favorite holidays.
This year, I’ve heard so many people say they aren’t celebrating, because it’s been such a terrible year.
I heard one couple say, “With the virus this year and the fact that we can’t get together with our family, we won’t be celebrating.”
I even heard the same couple say they weren’t celebrating Christmas. This really hit something deep within me and no offense to people who aren’t celebrating but isn’t this the year we should be celebrating?
If you think about it, we have so much to celebrate even though many things have been taken from us. We still have our lives, most of us still have our homes, and most importantly, we still have our freedom.
We live in a country where we are still allowed to celebrate. Even though we may have restrictions in place because of COVID-19, we are still living in a free country.
This year, I will be celebrating the fact that we live in God’s beautiful country. I will be celebrating the family that I do have left who I know love me. I will be celebrating just for the heck of it. I refuse to sit around and think about how “bad” things are.
I will be celebrating what I do have left, because one day it may be gone.