I'm sure you will see tons of articles about Thanksgiving. Articles about how we shouldn't be thankful just for one month out of the year or you will read lists of all the things people are thankful for. I agree that we should be thankful for more than just one month out of the year, and I could give you an entire list of what I am thankful for. But I don't want to do something that is overdone. I'll leave you to make your own lists about what you are thankful for this year.
Instead of giving you a list or a lecture, I wanted to give you a memory, or a collection of them at least. Maybe it will bring a tear to your eye, maybe it won't. Maybe it will make you nostalgic for your childhood holiday memories, or maybe it will make you hug your family members a little tighter. Whatever it does for you, I hope it brings a smile to your face because even though I am writing through tears, there is a grin on my face as well.
From the earliest Thanksgiving I can recall, we would all pile in my Grin-grin and Gee-gee's house. They were the parents of my mom's father. I can remember the smell of the delicious food hitting you when you walked in. It wasn't a huge house, but it fit my immediate family of four, my uncle, aunt, and two cousins, my mom's parents, and my other great-grandmother.
In that tiny house, we would spend all day long eating, telling stories, playing games, and just being with one another. I remember going around and asking everyone their drink order. I liked to play waitress. The parade played on the television. My cousins, brother, and I would sit and watch the different floats.
Once they grew too old to host Thanksgiving, we moved down the street to my grandparent's house. Although they didn't host Thanksgiving, my great-grandparents insisted on paying for the catering. Everyone gathered there and we would spend all day again. One year, I remember going back to my great grandfather's house and looking through his shed of trinkets. It was the week after my Gran passed away, and my dad's parents came to celebrate Thanksgiving with us in Charlotte.
Sometimes Thanksgiving would be hosted at my house. I loved those times the most because my dad's parents would join us as well. I never had huge family get-togethers, so I was happy when more joined in on the fun. The last time we hosted was 2012, and my uncle brought a skeet machine. I remember watching from my deck with my mom, aunt, Nana, Mawmaw, and both great- grandmothers as the men went out to shoot. It was so much fun to watch. I just remember feeling so happy that we were all together and under one roof.
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, but Thanksgiving comes in at a close second.
I'm not sure if the skeet shooting Thanksgiving was the last one we all spent together, but it's the one that brings the most joy. I know it was before 2013. It was a Thanksgiving that always stood out in my mind. I remember thinking how I didn't want anything to change.
This Thanksgiving, we are hosting at our house again. This will be the first time we get to host since our family has gone through changes. We are down three members on my mom's side, and one on my dad's side. Those numbers are only counting the members that I see at every family gathering. There are many others that have left us in the past four years. My tiny family has been reduced even more so.
For this year, I want to remember the joy I felt from that one Thanksgiving and bring it to this one. Even though we are small in numbers, we have huge hearts. I want to bring back those feelings of past holidays when our family was much larger.
I feel so blessed that both sets of grandparents, my uncle and his family, and my Mawmaw's cousin (who is like another grandmother to me) will all be there to celebrate at my house. I just can't deny that it won't be bittersweet because I can remember the times when the house used to hold more people.
As Winnie the Pooh once said, "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." This Thanksgiving I am blessed and thankful for the family I still have on this earth, and I am even more thankful for the ones I was able to know before they passed on.
The picture featured with this article is the picture from last year's Thanksgiving. This will be the first year without my Gee-gee. She loved Thanksgiving and Christmas!
This article is dedicated to my Gran, Grin-Grin, Gee- Gee, and Dennis Tucker.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss you. My heart remembers you all the time. We all miss and love you!