What I'm Thankful For And What Thanksgiving Means To Me - The 7up Experience Blog at Allrecipes.com - 257466

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What I'm Thankful for and What Thanksgiving means to me 
Nov. 18, 2011 1:20 pm 
Updated: Nov. 19, 2011 7:58 pm
When I originally sat down to do a blog about what I'm thankful for or what Thanksgiving means to me. It's really one of those things, that is totally hard to describe, without getting emotional. This time of year I am blessed with so much. That it also saddens me because of the memories of the hardships that fall at this time of year for my family over the past in remembrances.

Not trying to get emotional...is the key for me. I lost a few members of my family around this time of year and/or have the memories of their birthdays that I still honor.

Sept. 3 was my Nana's birthday, she passed away when I was 14 on New Year's Eve from Cancer. I'm now almost 40.

Dec. 3 was my Grandma's birthday, she passed away just a couple month's later on April Fool's Day from a heart attack after my Nana died.

My Godmother Jan, she died the week of Christmas from Cancer.

My Grandfather, died Dec. 13Th, 2000 a year after seeing his 2ND grandchild born with Prostate Cancer.

I am soo thankful for all the memories that walk side by side with me everyday. To the point I do smile, then brings tears to my eyes and makes me tell my kids of the memory I still hold dear. It doesn't matter if I pulled a slab of bacon out and start cutting it, and remembering my Nana standing in the kitchen chunky off hunks of bacon with her knife and popping a piece in her mouth (ewww gross) or reaching in for my grandmother's pot that she made chicken and stuffing in every Thanksgiving, just to make a pot of chicken n' dumplings. Or even remembering a funny thing happening to my Nana when she asked my mom for some butter on her bread at dinner, and her actual words were always.."butter me, sug' " for my mom, which meant..."can I have some butter on my bread, sugar?" And my mom got a warped idea and grabbed the butter knife and smeared butter up and down my Nana's arm....I seriously thought my mom was going to get spanked. It was funny. Or what happened every year following my grandmother's death. And what leads me to what I do to day. But let me tell that in a moment.

This has been the hardest holiday yet for me, this year. This is the 1st time in 19 years. I have been away from my parents and my siblings. And I'm totally not in the position yet, I say "yet". To be able to travel down to see my family, unless it's an emergency. But some of my fellow allrecipe buddies, knows, it's been a very trying year on a personal level. In March I nearly lost my mom due to a totally wacky medical condition, had my aunt in the hospital at the same time as my mom. Then when the coast was clear and found out that the medical condition my mom has, could still kill her if not treated..which ways heavy on my heart...but she's getting better and has support to help her in a crisis. It's called Vocal Cord Dysfunction..totally weird thing, to where her vocal cords spasm and can lock up or close off. Then the biggest bomb of my life since other health scares 3 1/2 years ago hits me, with my baby sister. This one still bothers me, because I had to make the choice to make the move to Oregon, to benefit my husband, kids and myself plus to help my inlaw's because of their aging healths....in the wake of a devastating health issue with my sister Mendi. And move away from being near her, in order to do what was right for my family. While things are hopeful for her now, she's not out of the woods. It really tore me apart to no end. She's fighting and struggling to get by, day by day. And I won't go to further then that. Because it's a huge tear jerker and a totally sad one at that. But what I can say, so far, I'm thankful my family is still here. My sister and mom and dad, are all still kickin'.

I am blessed with being able to provide for my children, with a roof over their head, food in their bellies and clothes on their backs. I am thankful that God has answered some prayers, like giving us this new house to live in, providing with the one prayer I had been pleading over for the past few years. A big kitchen to cook in because I was cooking out of a shoe box. And I think he humbled me in that concern because I'm very grateful.

I am blessed to have my kids in school and finally a school district helping me find the pieces to help Jenny finally read. She's almost 10 and they have just figured out how to do it.

I'm thankful also for the school district to take special care of my Aliena, and she's finally being excepted in a school where she's not getting teased for being Autistic and has friends.

I'm blessed that my son is feeling comfortable in his own skin and is settling into school and likes where we have moved to.

And thankful for my oldest and so blessed that she's feeling like a normal teen and not being torn between travels to other side of the family and missing out on the normal teen scene, as she soo put it. And blessed that she vocals are developing and God has given her such a beautiful voice.

And I am blessed that God put peace in our hearts by putting us in a wonderful community and place, to ease my husbands mind. And that the VA is really helping him get the help he needs and the support that he deserves.

And I'm thankful, that I'm at peace with the choice I made to move my family to Oregon. And thankful...that for the 1st time since Rob and I married....we now get to spend time with his side of the family.

So here's where I back track some. When I said above, about something that happened every year after my grandmother's death...I now need to elaborate. When my dad's mom died...my grandpa had no clue, how to shop for the grand kids. So the 1st Thanksgiving after Grandma died, he came to visit us in Mississippi. Called me and Mendi over to where he was sitting and handed us $200. I had never had that much money in my life and he said...Merry Christmas. And that happened every year on Thanksgiving. As we got older, same thing. Then it became a rule, as an adult, as long as you showed up, had a meal, watched the game and spent time with him, you got your Christmas Check...well I never went for the money, and when I got it, I never spent it on myself. I bought others' their Christmas presents. My sister and I spent more then half our lives away from our grandparents, where my other cousins...were right there. So for me, it was for the family and company. And grandpa only ever asked for 1 thing for Christmas and wanted everyone to go in and get him, the one thing. It was a ring one year, a recliner the next. Just something like that. But I appreciate how he did things. He wasn't a lovey-dovey person..he never told anyone the words, I love you....you just were expected to know that. So when Grandpa passed away, it left a big gap in all the family getting together. It really was the last time, my dad's siblings and us had Thanksgiving. Things totally changed after that.

Well, I was always raised on the idea in mind, when your invited to someone's house for a meal, a party or something. It's always a kind gesture to bring an offering. I still believe that to this day...Just ask my friends Toni, when we play cards...I always being something. But even when you've invited guests over in the same turn. You always offer something, as well. As Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory says, "it's customary to offer a hot beverage." But around Thanksgiving. I always say a special Thank You for whom ever dawns my table. Either with a card, a little gift, a special baked goody. It's my way of saying Thank you and that I'm thankful you shared a meal with me at my table. This is my way of giving back with Thanks.

So above all. I am more thankful this year then most years previously. Even though I moved away from my parents and am home sick severely. I can find ways to still be there, by phone, my email, by Facebook and by Skype. I know they know, I'm still there for them, not by body but by spirit. I know and thank my husband's family. Because I can see, they see how important family is to me and that we all join in and be together. Thanksgiving is about togetherness. It doesn't matter if you invited a person in off the street, out of the cold for a warm meal, or if your aren't with your families this year. It means we need to be thankful, we're living another day. It means we need to be generous with our hearts and we need to thank the person next to us for being there next to us. The word "Thanksgiving" means to me...thanks for giving yourself to spend some time with me and my family. And "giving thanks" for all that you do.
Nov. 18, 2011 2:32 pm
hi mis! ok, let me say upfront here...i'm tearing up. you hit the nail on the head in the respect that it doesn't matter what you have, it's WHO you have! you will love the great northwest! i TRULY wish you and your's a terrific thanksgiving!!!
Nov. 18, 2011 3:26 pm
Bless your heart, sweetie. It's always hard to celebrate a holiday when you've lost loved ones near or on the day. You can raise your glass in remembrance on Thanksgiving to include those you've lost, though. As for making decisions that directly affect the family, you simply have to do what you feel is best for you and your hubby. Trust that it will all work out as it's meant to and enjoy the season with a light and grateful heart. Hugs. Cheepy. :o)
Nov. 18, 2011 5:51 pm
Mis7up - Thank you for this blog - remember we are, who we are, because of the 'experiences' we have had ... endured ... weathered. Indeed we are blessed. Blessings to you.
Nov. 18, 2011 7:04 pm
mis7up. Your blog brought back so many memories of those I no longer have at my Thanksgiving table. I miss so many family members and friends I have lost too. I guess that is why we need to cherish each day and hold onto those we love fiercely. I know that a big move away from family is wrenching. They will always be close in your heart. I always make a place for someone who needs a hot meal and a sympathetic ear. After all we are making memories with every encounter & experience. These are the good old days :)
Nov. 18, 2011 10:33 pm
Such a wonderful, beautiful, blog and how true it is. I so truly miss the holidays with my loved ones, but I am thankful for the new family that I have acquired and the Dad that I have. Making new traditions is tough, but also exciting. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Love ya girl!
Nov. 19, 2011 7:16 am
Very nice blog! I've always felt it isn't what you have, but who you have. Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Nov. 19, 2011 1:38 pm
Oh, Melissa I can relate. Both my father and DH had November birthdays and neither is is with us so Thanksgiving is a bittersweet time for me as well. I try to focus on how thankful I am to have had 2 such wonderful men love me and help me become the strong woman I a today.
Nov. 19, 2011 7:58 pm
Beautiful blog. Here's to a new round of Thanksgiving memories in your new home.
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About Me
I'm an active mom of 4 and married the love of my life. I'm a full~time certified care giver, part~time food blogger @ http://the7upexperience.com , avid & obsessed novice photographer. I love allrecipes and pretty much an addict. I'm also a new member to Banana Belt Photography Club that's local to my community, and an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador. And have stamped allrecipes on me for life. The site has opened up my eyes to so much more then just recipes. I'm proud to be a member of this site and my love, passion & learning other recipes from other valued members has really broaden my horizens.
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Asian, Mexican, Multi-cultured foods, Low-fat, Low-sugar, Stews, casseroles, slow cooker meals and baking......Everything!!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Funny but true: Cooking traditions men sit in the recliner and women in the kitchen...lol My family is always in the kitchen. My sister and her family, my parents and my family celebrate Christmas in January. Due to distance and work related jobs. Every year we plan what we are having ahead of time. Our tradition is usually food we've had abroad growing up overseas. Normally with Asia influences. It's always a special treat when we normally don't make the dishes often throughout the year.
My cooking triumphs
Unknown to me when I came up with a chicken and dumpling recipe of my own, my father was floored & delighted and told me it tasted just like his mother's.......My mom dropped her jaw because it was better then her's. It's a staple with my husband and kids.
My cooking tragedies
I had found a recipe for a Pretzel Pie(like Pecan Pie), thought it looked good and I didn't follow the recipe when it said unsalted pretzels. I just grabbed the normal stuff with the salt on it, made the pie, and my dad and husband were painting with thrist. And making weird pickle sour expressions, when I realized the pie was over salted. Oopppss! I never made it again.
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