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
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.