We Gather Together

Growing up, our Thanksgivings were very small.  I am an only child and on that Thursday afternoon in November, we would gather around the small table in our apartment building.  Three in total and maybe a cat or two.  There were no sisters traveling home from college, no brother trecking on a long drive with his family, just us.  I always wondered what it would be like to have a large family and to be able to say "oh my sister and brother are coming down, or we have a houseful."  I always played with scenes in my head of having a table full of family all around and noise filling the air.  My Thanksgivings were quiet and simple.  We had all the fixings and it was a shame we didn't have more people because my mom would work hard at making it special, but there was always a sadness I felt during the dinner at the fact that it was just us.  I have a friend whose Thanksgiving was lonely too and when I was a teenager she and I would get together at her house for lunch the week of Thanksgiving.  Her family used to go out to dinner on Thanksgiving.   Obviously there was nothing wrong with going out but I've always prefered the comforts of a traditional thanksgiving.  Anyway, she would buy an entenmann's pumpkin pie and pull out the white box from the refrigerator and slice me a piece.  We'd add whip cream and enjoy our little tradition together.  A moment like that couldn't be more simpler but it was precious to me.

Over the years Thanksgiving has become my favorite evening. (I adore Christmas, but consider the entire season from Thanksgiving evening until New Years to be part of the entire experience)  Ever since I got married I told my husband that I would never want to be away from home for Thanksgiving.
To quote from my favorite television show ever, Thirty-Something, in the "We gather together" episode, Ellen says this quote:
"When you go to someone's house for Thanksgiving, it's like saying that the place where you live isn't really your home."  I've always loved that episode and saying.  And for me it holds true. 
Now of course people all over the world have to visit family and that doesn't mean that for them.  We do what we have to and what we can.  It's a personal reflection.
For me, because I never had the big to do at my house, that has always been important for me to try to do.  
So I begin with my pies on Wednesday.  And the first thing I do is text my friend Ann (a mother from my son's school) who lost her son a few days before Thanksgiving.  Her and I both talked about our love for pie making and love for the Wednesday before.  Her sweet son was taken from her two years ago on the Wed before Thanksgiving in a fatal car accident during an icy night.  It is something I think I will do for the rest of my life.
Then I begin with the preps.
This Thanksgiving I am thrilled because I will have family with us.  My son's fiancees family which is now part of ours.  My inlaw to be "Karen" mother of the bride, loves to entertain, cook and bake so I am so excited to join forces with her, to feel part of something and after a very tough and lonely year feel the support of another woman by my side.
My life is anything but perfect and sometimes I feel the burden of all my worries so much that it is suffocating, so it's the little touches in life, the occasions and special days, the decorating and preparations, the customs and traditions that I hold on to with both hands clenched around.
It is these things that I cherish and keep me afloat, proivde air for me to breathe and it is in the details that I am most happy.
I wish you and your family peace love and joy, moments to cherish and traditions to continue or begin.  
It is a day we all gather together to give thanks.


Brenda said...

Your celebration sounds like it will be very festive this year. I had seven brothers and sisters; I'm the "baby", and I remember wonderful raucous celebrations when most of them would be there with their spouses and their children. Three of my brothers are gone now and so are our
parents, so we don't get together for those huge Thanksgiving celebrations any more, but they live on in my memories.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, sweet Lisa. You are carrying on traditions that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

Queen Bee's Musings said...

Beautiful post. Blessings in all the small things you do will be memories for everyone who gather with you.

Queen Bee's Musings said...

Beautiful post. Blessings in all the small things you do will be memories for everyone who gather with you.

Ramon Valdez said...

I hope you and hour family a great thanksgiving Lisa, I can not wait yo see a post or two and tons of pictures from your party, best of blessings.

chateau chic said...

I love this post, Lisa! So inspirational, so much food for thought, so many common sentiments! I know you'll have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.
Mary Alice

Madge Bloom said...

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤ Happy Thanksgiving! ¤

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