The thing I like most about Thanksgiving is that it is one of the few opportunities for the family to get together over dinner, talk, laugh, catch up, share stories and, basically, be together as a family. No worries about getting the right gifts, etc. Simply sitting down together over a meal my wife Dale has spent hours preparing. (I do the peeling; she does the cooking.) It is a labor of love.
At one time both our families, including moms and dads and siblings, sat down together. It was great. Big table. Lots of food. Lots of talk. Lots of sharing stories and hugs. Now, both of our parents have passed. My sister and brothers have passed as well. Some relatives have moved away. The numbers shrink. We are now the oldest members and the hosts, still. But the table remains, along with the memories.
When we sit down on Thursday, those memories and faces will return, albeit briefly, to revisit the Thanksgivings of the past. I still feel the presence of those departed, their laughter, their joy, their love. There is something about “breaking bread” together that sticks. Is it watching those at the table fill their plates and their stomachs? Is it seeing who eats the most or least food? Is it who likes the turkey or the homemade cranberry sauce more? Hard to say. A little of all of that and more.
When the meal is over, we often take a walk to visit the nearby sheep farm up the road, get some exercise, walk off some of that Thanksgiving dinner and/or just get some fresh air. We will relax for awhile, shoot the breeze and maybe have a second helping of homemade apple or pecan pie.
After everyone has left, however, the memories will remain…
Dick Martin is a Glocester resident and contributor at NRI NOW.