This year, we celebrate Thanksgiving a few days late because my brother must work Thanksgiving Day. With so many people unemployed, I consider my brother’s job as one item on my “Giving Thanks” list. His job doesn’t pay much, but it offers medical insurance and paid vacations. It offers him security in an insecure world.
This year, we celebrate Thanksgiving without a turkey. My mother’s Huntington’s Disease causes her to have difficulty eating many foods, and unless I run turkey through the puree cycle of the blender, it’s not something she can eat. Instead, I’ll bake chicken thighs since the dark meat’s texture is easier for her to swallow. I’ll make our family recipe of homemade noodles to ladle over mashed potatoes and bread dressing. I purchased five different pies and whipped cream for a topping. I will be “Giving Thanks” for celebrating another holiday with my mother’s wry humor and shy smile.
This year, we celebrate Thanksgiving with a smaller group than last year, not because of death or hardship, but because our family members must visit other parts of their families. What a wonderful reason for a quieter holiday! When you love, honor, and respect someone, you encourage him or her to spend time with different branches within the family tree. I find myself “Giving Thanks” that we will enjoy other holidays together.
This year, we celebrate Thanksgiving with visits from special friends throughout the long weekend. I like how the tradition of this holiday extends beyond Thursday! I look forward to Friday chats and Saturday brunch. I’ll be “Giving Thanks” for lifelong friends who open their hearts to us and spend their time with us.
This year, we celebrate Thanksgiving with remembrances of those we’ve lost. For many of my friends, this Thursday marks the first empty place setting, and I know how difficult it is to summon smiles when there’s heartbreak. Eventually, the emptiness and numbness subsides. For me, I’m glad to be “Giving Thanks” to the memory of Dad’s football whoops and nonstop commentary of plays.
This year, we celebrate Thanksgiving with joy. Each and every day that ends with our good health and sanity deserves recognition! I cannot forget to be “Giving Thanks” for all of the little details that make our world so beautifully grand.
Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman