I find I don't have many distinct Thanksgiving memories. I remember a lot of snippets, but in terms of year, location, company, situation, most are just a blur.
As a kid, I remember the year my dad was in the hospital, and my mom cooked a small feast for me and my sister. She didn't realize there were more ingredients to a pumpkin pie than just the pumpkin until halfway into baking it...they she tried to dump the sugar and stuff in. It didn't work.
I distinctly remember my sophomore year of high school, spent at my grandmother's. My aunt, uncle, and cousins made a rare appearance (after they converted to Jehovah's Witnesses, they only attended holiday gatherings when they fell out of favor with the churchings), and we must have gotten a foot of snow. My sister, cousins and I took a long walk in the picturesque countryside as the snow fell.
My first year in Saint Louis, I attended my friend Darrell's family's event; they were very warm and welcoming, that was nice. And the year after, Erin, Kelly and I held our own orphans' Thanksgiving. And, once I was in San Diego, Rich, Dan, Mario and I held an orphans' event. I loved the orphans' holidays...so many traditions crammed into one day, everyone fighting over whose tradition should trump the others.
And I loved traveling abroad during Thanksgiving, as few Americans do so. I spent one in the company of my London pal Ian (enjoy the retro sketch here, and put on your best Northern English accent to say "Happy Thanksgiving!") and one eating an "American Thanksgiving" at some random Irish pub in 2007, solo. Of course, the year prior, I was at my folks' place with Sven in tow.
This year will stand out distinct from all the rest. I warned you in the last post that I had received some bad news while abroad. Turns out my mom's health took a nosedive due to an aggressive cancer. I had returned home with my dad as my guest for easier access to my mom as she had been admitted to Dana Farber. The fast ravages of the cancer, as well as the chemotherapy has been terribly hard on her. She was released from the hospital a few days before Thanksgiving, and her best friend arrived to help take care of her. We had a lovely but sad meal as my mom slept; the smell of food doesn't agree with her, and everything tastes like tin to her. The outlook is good for the world of cancer...but that isn't saying much? In the meantime, I will keep her in my most positive thoughts.
I'm thankful for the wonderful care she's receiving (and received at the hospital). I'm thanking for my dad for his extra patience with her and diligence. And of course, I'm thankful to still have a great mom. Not perfect of course, but still great.