Thanksgivings Past

This year is the first year since 2009 I’ve been able to spend Thanksgiving with my family. My parents and I are going to Florida, and when we come back we are meeting up with my brothers and their families to share a meal together (mom’s not cooking though, we’re going out!)

It’s weird how things change when you grow up. There’s a shuffling around period during young adulthood when traditions fall to the wayside and make room for new ones. (like the annual excursion to Florida…)

Growing up we would have my mom’s relatives down, or go up to my great aunt’s house in Nashville (we called her Sister). By far I loved going to Sister’s house because the food was always spectacular (a true Southern Lady for sure) but also because it was like going to a different time. It was outside of my normal world and so it meant I spent more time with my family. I didn’t have the distractions of my own home to keep me from interacting with people.

As I got older and, sadly, relatives became unable to travel (and then went to be with sweet Jesus), and so those traditions fell away. But new ones sprang up.

When I moved to Murfreesboro at some point I started going to the Thanksgiving Day service. Probably because my brothers became so scattered and had families of their own it was hard to get them to come “home” for Thanksgiving. So we did it on a different day, like the following Friday or Saturday. Anyway, as I became more fully involved with my parish family here I wanted to spend Thanksgiving at church. We have a beautiful little service and then a giant pot luck lunch after. It is so very special to come together with my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, to give thanks to God and to share in the fruits of our labors together I have cherished all of my Thanksgivings there.

Some years I couldn’t be with my family because I worked retail and couldn’t miss work the following day, so it was really special to still be able to celebrate at St. Paul’s.

Year before last I was in Hong Kong for Thanksgiving. It was tough to be so far away from my family. I skyped them and I got to see everyone, but it was definitely bittersweet. But, I went to the apartment of some dear friends and we had our own Thanksgiving. We roasted chickens in toaster ovens (sans heads and feet, thankyouverymuch) and shared wine and laughs. In a far off land I was so thankful to have people to be with. It made me really appreciate the blessings of my life.

So I hope this year you are giving thanks, but not only that–I hope you are praying for those who can’t make it home. Pray for your fellows to have peace in their hearts, to find family where they can, to cherish what is all around. May God bless you and keep you, and make his face to shine upon you. Amen, amen.

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One response to “Thanksgivings Past

  1. As a person who did not grow up in the states, the only thing I can compare to similarly is how my family and most of the relatives of my dad’s family gather during the major holidays in Hong Kong.

    Since the 1990’s however, relatives moved and/or passed away. My family also moved to the U.S. So, Christmas 2012 was when there were extensive get togethers with my relatives from my dad’s side since 1996 in Hong Kong.

    Things have sure changed since 1996. Things surrounding the neighborhood I used to live in changed a lot. My younger cousins as well as cousins around the same age also grew up too. Due to logistics reasons, this family tradition went to the wayside.

    I know this is late… but this year I am giving thanks to people who have supported my occupational therapy journey- my family, my peers in the profession, folks from the autism community, and most importantly, my church family. My journey so far has some bumpy roads. But my supporting cast have come through in different ways when I needed them most. Because of that, I am making great progress in finding my niche in the field.

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