Posted on November 26, 2013 at 8:35 am by heatherscherer Comments Off on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was the big holiday of my childhood.  All my cousins came to town and we had a blast.  My grandmother would spend three days setting the tables just right.  She believed it was important that all our tables were connected.  She believed that the tables being connected was symbolic of our being connected together with a strand of love.  Ours was not a table of exclusion either.  My family always invited others to join us.  Sometimes my grandmother’s cousins would attend and we would be told to be on our best behavior.  Different United Methodist ministers would attend over the years and I can’t count the number of boyfriends that were run through the family football game as a test of their manliness.  Once you were part of our thanksgiving family tradition, you were always a part of it.  (As witnessed by my Uncle’s ex-wives attending and my cousin Holly’s friend from college who came for several years.)  We always knew that if we invited someone who had no where to go, that grandma and papa would never complain.

My  Uncle pointed out, reflecting on why this holiday was so magical to our family, that we didn’t do anything special.  We didn’t spend any money on something fancy or go to anyplace tropical.  We ate, played, and watched tv.  We ate some more, played some more and included regular napping.  It was simple.  And somehow in the consistency and simplicity it was beautiful.  Papa used to start the prayer every year like this “Father, we are indeed grateful…”

Now that my grandparents have gone, we have lost this time together.  People don’t make the trip anymore.  They have started their own family traditions or they have chosen to be with their in-laws.  We have tried to reclaim it but it hasn’t worked.  This year we will try again.  We have decided to get our grandma’s green tablecloths and boxes of decorations to see if that will help.  We have nagged those who don’t come anymore to see if we can motivate them to play with us. But we are trying and hopefully for our children they will still feel connected to this family.  They will learn to be grateful for the simplicity of love and family and play.  They will “indeed be grateful” for all we have been given and hear our stories of the legacy of love they will inherit.

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