Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Thanksgiving Goodbye

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States.  It is all about memories.

Last Bradford Pears, Westover, New York November 23
Memories of beauty.  Memories of good times. 

But sometimes, Thanksgiving is about the loss of those memories.

I lost a memory of past Thanksgivings over the weekend.

His name was Jack, and he was 96 years old.  It's so ironic that he died the Sunday before Thanksgiving, because, at one time, he was a part of Thanksgiving for me.


After my Mom died in November of 1965, my Dad started to take me to Thanksgiving dinner at his younger sister's apartment in Brooklyn.  In that small, one bedroom apartment, we would gather: my Dad, me, my aunt and uncle, their two children (my cousins, both slightly younger than me) and my uncle's two "bachelor" (as they said in those days) brothers.

One of them was Jack.

We would eat roast turkey, stuffing, yams with marshmallows and pineapple (not crazy about it, but this was the 1960's). For dessert there would be roasted chestnuts and coffee ice cream.

Every year, Jack and his brother would arrive at Thanksgiving with a large box of candy in hand.  It was immediately hidden.

My two cousins and I would hunt the box down the next morning, and demolish it.  Strange how no one ever seemed to notice (or maybe I just ignored the outrage).

I only had one Thanksgiving with my aunt and uncle after getting married in 1974 (we lived far away from Brooklyn for some of that time) and I don't think Jack was there that year.  So, my husband never had the pleasure of meeting Jack, or his brother.

Now, almost all the members of that generation are gone.  

I will dedicate my first bite of Thanksgiving turkey today to the good times of the past.

Do you have a special Thanksgiving or similar holiday memory to share?

Day 24 of NaBloPoMo.

5 comments:

  1. My older daughter was also my parents' first grandchild. She was born two weeks before Thanksgiving. My father was so excited! But he couldn't hold the baby, he had a very bad cold and was afraid to get the baby sick. Two weeks later, at Thanksgiving dinner, my father got to hold his granddaughter for the very first time. My daughter is 26 now, and my father passed away last year.

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving! All the adults I spent Thanksgiving with are gone now, but I have the memories.

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  3. I think this year all sorts of stories of those Thanksgivings will be shared.

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  4. Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for sharing your memories with us. Cheers to Jack! He is your guardian angel now:)

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  5. Oh yes, so many special memories of Thanksgiving gatherings as a family...sad that we no longer have these gatherings, since my parents are gone, and my adult kids are establishing their own traditions with their own families.

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