Lists written down, assignments confirmed, shopping trips made – all was put into action like a general about to enter the battlefield, everything was perfectly and strategically planned. My mother’s Thanksgiving preparation swung into full gear. This was her holiday. She was 88 but her mind was sharp. “Susie”, she said to me just a year ago, “I got the yams and the cranberry sauce and the peas you love. You’ll make the Guacamole, the stuffing and the salad as usual…what kind of wine does Iche like again? I got all of the kids’ favorite appetizers and oh, I ordered the turkeys from Doheny Kosher, can you just confirm that they’ll be delivered by 2:00 p.m., sliced? You know how Michael gets impatient with me if I call him too much…” Those were some of the words uttered by my mother as Thanksgiving approached.
This year Thanksgiving is making me look at loss in the face. The dull ache somewhere between my stomach and my heart grows more intense as the day approaches. I feel adrift again without my guide…my mom. We’ve decided to have Thanksgiving at my mother and father’s house, where we’ve had it for 38 years. We will affirm life without denying the difficulty of loss, as our family comes together, because it’s what we all want. It will be so hard without my mom, but I know that we honor her memory by being together, a family united at the dining room table with the mirrored wall behind. One by one, we will each rise to say what we are thankful for. I just know mommy, we will all be thankful for being together, because that was the greatest value you imparted…time shared with those you love. We will affirm how thankful we all are for having had you in our lives.
May all of you have a beautiful Thanksgiving surrounded by those you love!