This has been a really weird year. Full of loss and victories all at once.
Normally on this day (our thanksgiving at home in Canada) I would be on the phone with my mother right now, trying to figure out who is making the potatoes and what time she will be here with homemade delicious corn fritters. We decided early on when my kids were young that we really loved traditions and we would create a whole bunch for different occasions. Maybe because she didnt get to raise me and had never gotten to create together, we just picked up where we left off. Over 20 years we had a blast! Her traditional contribution was delicious cornfritters which my youngest daughter has now picked the reins up on and will be making! She even made some for my mom the day before she died – which I must add she enjoyed heartily. I kind of like that she went to heaven with corn fritters in her belly :). Mom always arrived with bags of toys and wonderful magical things from the dollar store (her favourite hang out), popping things at christmas and most of all, dinner prayers.
My kids (all seven of them) will remember well sitting around a huge table filled with gobs of all of our favourite foods, drooling and waiting to eat while we say a prayer of gratitude. We aren’t a praying family, it’s just not how any of us were raised. But they all would gather their hearts for the most important prayer we did, led by my mom which was when she would ask us all to talk about what we were most grateful for that year.
answers like ..
recognition of the things that we have in our lives every day that serve us well and make our lives joyful. It’s a good idea.
In Canada thanksgiving is a religious holiday, not a political statement (we don’t presume to have taken land from Native folk and make a meal to celebrate it…sorry.) We call it “action de Grace” in french. – Action of thanks…literally.
Grace is what God gives us. Action is what we do with it.
My mother taught me that gratitude is an action word – not just a fluffy statement that requires no activity. If I am grateful for my kids, I like to make them good food to fill their bellies and hearts – because I am grateful for them and love them so much. If I am grateful for my horses, I like to work hard and make sure their stalls are clean they have good food and water. This is my action of gratitude.
Have an “Attitude of gratitude” as she liked to say, means I go through my life trying to keep my head in what is good and what is working – not what is painful or sad.
She walked her talk let me tell you! She helped everyone she could if they needed it. She had a tough time for so long, but always took all the most difficult things that confronted her in this life and turned them into gold. She wasnt able to raise me – another mother could have used all the circumstances surrounding that to fall into a deep hole that would have been impossible to come out. Instead, she took our circumstances and created a relationship with me that went FAR beyond motherhood, sister or even friendship.She was my 2:00 am person…god I miss her.
This year we won’t have my mom at the table although I’m sure she will be very present. She has been so convincingly present during this past year, especially lately. I think she knows I need her more right now. I will set a place for her and we will tell her how grateful we were for having her beautiful joyful soul with us in her body – and now free from pain and suffering but still around.
I am so grateful for my family, my children, my friends, my husband, my animals, living in a beautiful place, everyone is healthy, I get to play music as a career. What an awesome life she gave me. I can feel her on the other side with me often, helping me move along to keep going forward.
This year I AM the grandma – I have three beautiful grandchildren and my own children – that’s TEN!! She would say I was the luckiest woman in the world…and she would be right. 🙂 This year, Ill EXTEND our traditions AND even try and find a new one to do with my own grandchildren! MAybe the tradition will be that the kids make ME dinner every thanksgiving?…hmmm…I like it. 🙂
Yes, my heart is full – and soon – my belly will be too.
Happy thanksgiving everyone. I really really love you and am so grateful – even if we have never met – for our connection in this life.