I am thinking about Thanksgiving today. And family, of course. My memories take me back to a Thanksgiving past when my mother had come to live with us. Our downstairs family room was really two open rooms and very odd shaped, but we managed to piece together tables that stretched from one end of the room to the other. Chairs were various sizes and styles, and the entire setup was very eccentric yet beautiful.
I wanted my mom to experience a large family Thanksgiving with her extended family. Everyone brought something to contribute to the meal. As we went around the table telling what we were thankful for on that day, one of my daughters gave thanks that her husband was sitting at the table with us after having dealt with losing a kidney to cancer. This brought the true meaning of thankfulness to our table. I am thankful mother was able to share this Thanksgiving with us as it was her last here on earth.
Many Thanksgivings later, I look back at the loved ones who were at the table then, but no longer will join our family in person. Our family has dwindled, not only due to death, but also to long distance moves. I am now the matriarch of the family. I used to be the one hosting family gatherings. Now that duty has fallen to my children.
My heart wants to be the one to host the family gatherings again, but space and age have placed limitations on me. New traditions are being established. I am happy to see how much my family has bonded over the years and though many are absent, love still abounds when we gather together. One day I, too, will be absent from the table. I only hope my love for all of them will remain in fond memories. Lifting my cup of tea as I wander through memories with a smile in my heart.