Thanksgiving losses, gains, and late hits

Tonight I'm thinking about my blog muse, and feeling very, very grateful for her encouragement to try the new-fangled concept of blogging back in '03. My dear friend Juliet, who shall remain nameless, thought I might enjoy trying a new creative outlet. She volunteered her early techie support, cheerleading, and the courage to read pretty much everything I sent out into the blogosphere. From this distance it's clear we were new friends then, just a couple steps up from acquaintances, what with "friending" not even a THING yet in that primitive era.

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday having won that title when the Fourth of July became too nerve-wracking as a mom. All Thanksgiving asks is that we spend some time in mindfulness and gratitude. Everything else is gravy.

Thanksgiving does not insist on family, togetherness, football on tv, front yard football leading to dislocated collarbones, long-distance travel, TSA security checks, belief in the Pilgrims/Indians legend, agreement about cranberry or stuffing recipes, aprons, crockpots, brining, yams, family storytelling, or table decorations crafted by children out of toilet paper tubes. Family storytelling is preferrable to political arguments, though.

Over a lifetime I've observed Thanksgiving in many roles. I've been the mother, the child, the grandchild, the grandma, the host, the guest, the cook, the communication hub, the in-law, the parent without custody for the holiday, the parade balloon, the quarterback sack, all alone in nature, the charity case, the hospital kitchen worker, the sandwich generation caregiver, the griever, the teacher, the listener, the organizer, the raker, the pitted black olive thief, and the recorder.

The first Thanksgiving after losing a parent will be difficult, Dear. The pieces don't fit, the floor seems slanted, all conventions are off, but the family stories  bubble up from a long-plugged well. It's all good. The thoughts of many will be with you and your family. I'm thankful for you.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder

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