Sunday, November 24, 2019

Thankfulness 2019

I wrote this post in November of 2016. I offer it today with some up to date edits and a little more detail.  This is such a precious memory for me.

Thursday will be Thanksgiving in the United States.  It is all about family.  And memories.

Memories of beauty.  Memories of good times. 

But sometimes, Thanksgiving is about loss.

One of my cousins called me today, and we chatted about many things.  One thing she mentioned was that on the day after Thanksgiving she and her husband were heading to Virginia to celebrate her oldest brother in law's birthday.  He is turning 80.

She also mentioned her uncle, who is, I believe, 102 now. 

But I remember when, in 2016, his brother died.

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. It was over an hour's train ride and then either a 10 block walk, or a bus.  Somehow, it usually managed to be drizzling or raining.

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 - the older one was the one who called me today) 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) until we were full.   For dessert there would be roasted chestnuts and coffee ice cream.  Eventually Dad would go home - he had to work the next day.  I would sleep overnight at my aunt and uncle's.

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 and what I have now.

To my family.
To the friends who remain (several have already passed on).
To a warm house scented with good food.
To health.
To mobility.

And to you, my readers.

Thank you.


  1. All I can say is Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. As we get older it seems that Thanksgiving gets more and more complicated and the memories are a constant reminder of how things used to be.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  3. Set a place for him at your table. He'll be there in spirit.


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