I used to love all of the traditional holidays, and as much as I love Christmas and the decorations I think my favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. It was my favorite because you got the big turkey dinner, the family get-together and none of the commercialized gift crap.
I started a tradition at my Thanksgiving table that as we ate we would go around the table and everyone had to say what they were thankful for. It didn’t matter what had gone on in someone’s life they were still expected to come up with some thing.
Years ago before Kris was born Victor, my 1st husband had lost his brother in a tragic fishing accident. They had been fishing and drinking out on the lake in early spring so the water was extremely cold. The boat flipped, there were three of them and only two life jackets. Victor was going to swim for help, he was the most physically fit. Don was a big guy, couldn’t swim and was panicking so they got him in a lift vest first. Victor’s brother, Micheal, was wirey and probably weighed 75 – 100 lbs less than Victor and had the other life jacket on. They decided Victor should stay with Don because he was stronger and could keep Don from drowning and Micheal would swim to shore for help.
Michel and he argued about the life jacket, Victor wanted Michel to wear it and Micheal wanted Victor to wear it. Micheal agreed to keep it on but he swam a ways and then turned and threw it back to Victor.
They waited and waited; it wasn’t that far to shore; but it was dusk and they couldn’t see if Micheal made it. Finally after calling out and not getting a reply Victor left Don and swam to shore. He ran down the road calling for Micheal, nothing. Then a truck came by and they hadn’t seen any one.
They got Don out of the lake, but they had to drag the lake the next morning and found Micheal, he had drowned only a few yards from shore; they figured he had succumbed to the cold. Victor had a horrible time dealing with his brother’s death and at the reception we had at our house after the funeral he ran off down the street so consumed with grief I imagine he was trying to out run it.
I went to go after him and my older brother John (a weight trainer, who was solid muscle) stopped me and said he’d go. A while later I saw the most heart wrenching scene I have ever seen; coming across the front lawn was my brother with tears running down his face packing Victor in his arms like a baby. He packed him into the bedroom and tucked him into bed.
That Thanksgiving my mom was cooking the Turkey and she thought it would be too painful for Victor to say what he was grateful for so she didn’t do it. When we got home Victor said,”We didn’t say what we were thankful for this year” I told him my mom didn’t think we should because it would be too hard on him. He said,”But I’ve been thinking about what I was going to say for weeks.” I told him to phone my mom and tell her.” So he did. Micheal loved the thankfulness thing and would have been proud of his brother.
Another favorite Thanksgiving was while I was living at Cultus Lake. It was a fall similar to this year, very warm sunny days and brisk cold nights. The salmon were spawning, the crowds of summer had left until next year, the lake was like glass and the full time residents were out walking enjoying having their lake back. I wasn’t going to do a big dinner, my mom and step dad were on vacation, my cousin had plans, it was just Kris and I and I was quite looking forward to not having a house full. Then my brother called and asked if he could bring a date for Thanksgiving dinner.
Me: Oh! uh! sure! See you tomorrow, whenever you get here will be fine.
I jumped in the car and ripped down the hill to buy a turkey. There was no time to thaw a turkey so I had to spend the extra money and buy a fresh one. It was bar none THE best Thanksgiving dinner I have ever eaten or cooked. I kept it simple, Brussels Sprouts in a cream sauce, home made stuffing, no sausage, or nuts; just good old fashioned bread stuffing with fresh herbs from my garden. mashed potatoes, sweet potato broiled with brown sugar glaze, corn, and my favorite casserole of broccoli, cauliflower and Durkee onions. I had everything prepared the night before so it was just a matter of popping things in the oven.
I put the bird in the oven and walked to the lake, stopping to have a chat with my girlfriend Tina on the way. She joined me for a glass of wine on the dock. It was such a beautiful day, so warm I decided to take a dip in the lake with my clothes on,and was just going up to the house looking like a drowned rat when my brother pulled up with his “flavor of the week”, a gorgeous model. I got changed and we went for a long walk, played in the playground.
My brother pushed me on the merry go round until I couldn’t walk and thought I was going to be sick, then we wandered home. I had no idea how long to cook a fresh turkey but before we even opened the door we could smell its deliciousness. Dinner was flawless and we ate until we had to undo our pants moaning and groaning asking each other,”Why do I always do this?” They stayed the night and I sent home leftovers for both of them. It was a glorious day.
This year I am thankful I have memories like that; so many wonderful memories.
Even the last year JC and I were together; he had told me he wanted me to move out, his sister was still staying with us and his mom had given us a turkey. The bird wouldn’t fit in our tiny oven so I decided to cook it on the barbeque. As always I made my own stuffing and this time I kept dinner really simple but it was so tasty. I wrote JC and his sister each a letter saying what about them I was thankful for. It was a very nice dinner, bitter sweet because it was like the last supper but we had good conversation even though JC had to say it was nice to finally get a decent meal. I went to bed alone.
In the morning there was a letter from JC on the table for me and he had shoved one under the door of his sisters bedroom. They were nice letters; too bad he didn’t mean what he wrote. Mine was blank on the first 1/2 and he started by saying,”I have no idea what I was supposed to write above.” Then he said he needed to change his attitude and promised he was going to change, things were going to change……for the better. Two weeks later he made us miss his nieces wedding.
Ah well. I am thankful I no longer hold false hope that he will change. I recently heard he has not changed at all. I’m not surprised but it is little consolation.
I am thankful I have healed as much as I have and I actually go days without crying.
I am thankful for everyone who visits my blog, them sharing their stories has helped me more than I ever thought it would and more than they could know.
I am amazed and thankful that I have had almost 43,000 hits and almost 200 followers. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would reach that many people.
Every time I check messages and there is one that says “thank god I found this site” or “You literally saved my life” I am thankful I started the blog and I am accomplishing what I set out to do.
I am thankful my son is working and happy, although I miss him horribly.
I am thankful he messaged me yesterday and said, “Everything is going to be ok. I love you” .
I messaged back. “Why do you say that!? Are you ok?? I love you too Honey”.
His reply: Lol I was being supportive; I know you’ve had a tough couple of years.
Me: Oh! Thank you but stop it! you had me worried.
I am thankful that my puppies love me.
I am thankful that I am not sleeping in my truck.
I am thankful I have hope for a better future because last year I didn’t have any hope. And without hope life isn’t worth living.
I am thankful I laugh regularly now.
I will be thankful when this weekend is over and I don’t feel so lonely.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! to my friends all over the world. Tell me what you are thankful for this year or share a Thanksgiving memory.