The memories are still there. My father, mother, sister, brother and I have once again gone to my aunt and uncle’s house for Thanksgiving. My aunt is cooking a magnificent turkey.
I can smell the mashed potatoes and the gravy. The aroma coming from my aunt’s kitchen is intoxicating. I’m sitting in the living room watching the Detroit Lions play the Chicago Bears.
Alex Karas for the Lions. Dick Butkus for the Bears. It’s a noisy house.
Everyone is talking. Some are talking politics. Some are talking religion. Lots of happy people. And then, we sitdown for our meal. Everyone is quiet now. Someone begins to say grace. Our heads are bowed. My mother likely leads the way. We take giving thanks seriously. “Bless us O Lord! and these Thy gifts,which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
After grace, it’s a free for all. Pass the buns. Pass the stuffing. Pass this. Pass that. The meal is magnificent, but the best is yet to come. The pies come into the room. There is a selection.
Apple pie with ice cream. Pumpkin pie. I have a choice. I’m stymied so I take a little of both. After separating myself from the table, I feel full – very full. I feel a lot like the turkey probably felt before it was killed so we could eat it.
I love this holiday and I can tell you why. I like it when families get together. I like it when it gets quiet and someone in the house says grace or some other prayer. I like the fact that on this holiday, we recognize the existence of a divine being and do it as a family. I like the fact that there is a bit of a ritual to this holiday.
We eat turkey, not ham. We eat mashed potatoes, not french fries. I presume every family is different. I’m talking about my own. I like the sameness.
I look forward to this special holiday all year long. I look forward to being with family. I look forward to the custom of bowing heads, acknowledging the existence of God; and giving thanks. I wish we did it more often but if we did, it might detract from this very special holiday.
On this joyous holiday, I hope all of us are reflective. We have many blessings. While we may also have misfortune, look around very carefully. If you are sharing Thanksgiving with people you love, you are very, very fortunate indeed.