Thanksgiving is just 2 days away. I have spent the past week reliving some of my past Thanksgivings and what I was thankful for then. This year has been a different kind of year. We’ve experienced lots of loss, whether it is people, pets, lifestyle, ministry, or simply the loss of time as we count the months, days, moments until our oldest graduates and leaves for college. Loss has been experienced, change is happening, and the future is welcoming us every morning.
The past ten years we have spent Thanksgiving with the same family, a family that has been one of my “foster” families in my Christian walk. Ten years ago they invited us into their family tradition and made us feel like family. My Thanksgivings past have included Christina and Ashley. I won’t spend another Thanksgiving with her this side of heaven, but on the other side, it will be a Thanksgiving to celebrate. This year we cannot have Thanksgiving with them, any of them. And even though I won’t be with two of my favorite foster sisters this year, their presence will be with me.
So as we planned our Thanksgiving dinner at home, with special guests that we are SOOOOO EXCITED TO HAVE, I asked my kids what Thanksgiving foods they wanted to see on our table this year. Kelsey asked for Christina’s Cranberry Sauce. I fought back a tear as I remembered the first time she brought it to a Thanksgiving meal. I can still picture that moment…it arrived in a beautiful heart-shaped bowl that her mom had made her. The same bowl and sauce graced our table on many Thanksgiving’s and Christmas’s to follow.
Wyatt chimed in with his favorite, “It’s the orange stuff with little oranges in it that is sweet that Miss Lynda and her mom always make.” That can be interpreted as Orange Cottage Cheese Salad. It has been at every Thanksgiving and Christmas we have had with them. Yes, the Orange Stuff is a must!
My favorite is Pam’s Sweet Potatoes. Just delicious! I cannot imagine a Thanksgiving or a Christmas without them. They are to die for.
So even though we will not be with friends who have made our past Thanksgiving’s so special, they have helped create our own tradition. Their presence will be at our table in the form of tradition they have passed down to us. I’m looking forward to gathering around our table this year and enjoying Pam’s Sweet Potatoes, The Alexander’s Orange Stuff, and Christina’s Cranberry Sauce.
We will also be graced this year with a new entry, Trace’s Stuffing! And so the tradition continues.
Thanksgiving falls seven months to the day that we lost her. We will never be the same without her. But then again, neither will heaven be the same since it gained her. I wish she would be at my table on Thanksgiving, but I would take her on a boring Tuesday and talk about our days over a cup of coffee. I would take a phone call.
So what are your favorite traditions that make Thanksgiving special to you?
Thankful Groovy Girl