A Gift This Day For You
As you read this story, I would ask that you take a moment and remember past Thanksgivings. If you are like most people you may realize the day is about family. Turkey and all the trimmings are an added bonus that we get enjoy at the same time.
Preparations are made and frozen turkeys have slowly thawed in the refrigerator for the grand feast. These turkeys are stuffed with grandma’s secret dressing mixture and covered with foil waiting for the early holiday morning’s trip in the hot oven. As it bakes it fills the house with an unmistakable aroma of Thanksgivings past and family gatherings.
The day before, those same ovens bake pumpkin rolls and pies for tomorrow’s dessert table. You believe the turkey dinner is all you can eat, but if you loosen your belt, you may have room for one piece of pie. And of course don’t forget the whipped cream on top. Just a short time ago that delicious pie was a pumpkin in the summer garden. It may have thought it was going to be the Halloween decoration on the front porch. Little did it know it would bring so much more pleasure to the holiday table.
The family china that has been stored away all year gets a quick washing and drying before being sat upon the family table. Mom may have dad and the kids polish the silver so it shines as it had for many Thanksgivings before.
When all is done and the day has arrived, the family sits down at the table and compliments the cook on the excellent meal they are about to share.
Then, the words of thanks are given. Sometimes it is the head of the family. Other times it is the youngest member who gets the privilege of the blessing. No matter the words or the person saying them, it is our way of giving thanks for all that we share with family.
Afterward, the dishes are cleaned and placed in the boxes until next year. Someone contemplates having one piece of pie and the kids lay down for a nap after the day’s excitement. On the TV, the channels are filled with football games and reruns of, “Miracle on 54th Street.”
As the day passes, we sometimes begin to remember other Thanksgivings. We smile and tell of the first Thanksgiving turkey and the burnt taste when cooked a little too long. The cook believed the day was ruined, but in the end it was not too bad when served with grandma’s gravy. There was that time a snow storm prevented family from traveling home and the table filled with food had no one to eat the meal. The turkey was as good as ever, but when family could not come together, it somehow lost that magic of the day.
After a while, someone begins to reminisce about important things-family and memories. I am realistic enough to know all holiday gatherings are not sunshine and roses. But, on this day it is best to remember what we have shared in our pasts and the good things in our lives.
The holidays are a time of year we celebrate faith and family. We hope it brings us joy and happiness. But, it is also a time of year we think back to those members of our family who are no longer with us. For many people it is time of sadness and memories of those lost. It is a time the emptiness fills our hearts as we remember past holidays and empty spaces at the table.
This year, we have lost a dear member of my family. The hurting is still so close it is hard to remember anything but the pain. I know that we are not alone in our sadness. It is shared by many who took time out of their lives to reach out and take our hand as they shared words of kindness in this hour of sorrow.
Thanksgiving is not about the turkey dinner or pumpkin pie. It is not about ball games or old movies on TV. It is about family. I have come to realize this Thanksgiving my family is bigger than I had ever known. That family is all the good people that came together to share the burden of pain at our time of loss.
On this Thanksgiving, I offer a gift for each of you from my sister Sherry Lynn Starkey. She believed every day was a good day to be with family and friends. If she could, she would tell each of you that every day is a precious gift from God and on this Thanksgiving and every day, celebrate the things life has to give each of us. I will always remember this gentle soul as I look Though the Lens.