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November 25, 2015

On this eve of Thanksgiving, one naturally remembers holidays from the past, but on this particular day the memories are especially bittersweet.

My day started by attending a funeral mass for a man who had been in early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s. The sermon given by our priest brought me to tears. It was the first time that I publicly could not control my emotions as I reminisced about my mother and the long struggle she endured in comparison with this gentle mans sudden passing. I have been teary-eyed all day.

This evening, standing in the kitchen making preparations for tomorrow’s dinner, I was looking out the window while mindlessly tearing dried out bread into bite size pieces for the dressing, just like mom always did. When the passing of time and the changing of seasons came into clear focus. I noticed the flickering color from the neighbor’s house across the road. Then realized that all of the trees between our houses are completely barren of leaves. Most months of the year, I cannot even see their house and now suddenly, I am able to watch their TV from my kitchen window. If only the sound on our living room television was up loud enough for me to hear, it would be like having a TV in the kitchen while I work! Where did the summer go?

When I think of Thanksgivings from the past, I think of families and their traditions blended and shared, creating new families and traditions.

I will prepare the same dressing recipe that my mother taught to me as soon as I was old enough to help in the kitchen. The mandatory cherry pie for Dan is baked in the glass deep dish pie pan that once belonged to his mother. My Grandma Wayne always made Waldorf salad, which she simply called Apple Salad. As I look at the package of Brown and Serve rolls sitting on the counter, I can’t help but laugh as I remember that my mother-in-law always made “Burnt and Serve” rolls. The bottoms were always, without fail, burnt to a charcoal black crisp on the bottom. Everyone politely cut off the bottom half of the roll and just ate the top.

Dan and I will have a quiet dinner for two, but generations of our families will be with us in spirit. Reminding us that life is shorter than we think and precious memories will keep them forever close.

Happy Thanksgiving to our family scattered across the world. May memories of the past bring a smile to your face as you share remnants from our past, with your new futures.


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  1. Lisa permalink

    What a sweet post! Happy Thanksgiving to you! While my cherry pie is not homemade, it is on the counter covered in a dish towel, ready to eat. Quiet dinner for two this year! Love you!

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