Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving and Holiday Memories

By M. J. Joachim

Thanksgiving is two weeks away. It’s a BIG holiday around here, the one where family travels and gathers at my home. We eat, play all sorts of board and card games, and simply enjoy each other’s company in a way that melts the heart and sooths the soul. 

Last year was the first year in many that my Mom didn’t make it. She determined traveling was getting a bit hard on her. We didn’t know what the following spring and summer would bring. My little family was on its own last year, as my brother went to my Mom’s. He’s coming to our house this year. 

We’re all a little emotional this holiday season – first year with Mom, Grandma, gone…

I’ve pulled out some “sacred” recipes from her treasured cards I managed to gather when sorting through her things. I’ll be making some of her treasured pies this year – lemon meringue and pecan. She made them like no one else could; I can only hope mine will turn out as well. 

Of course Mom’s stuffing was always the best – one of my daughters will be making that. She’s been talking about it for weeks, remembering how Grandma worked side-by-side with her in the kitchen, showing her exactly what to do. I remember it too. Mom wanted this moment, and made sure I kept my distance. I’m glad. It was a good one. 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about grieving, it’s that it takes time, and it’s a process. There is no moving on, just going forward. Unexpected moments will stop us in our tracks. There are a lot of “firsts” during the first year, just like there are when a new baby is born…big hurdles to overcome and embrace as part of one’s ever evolving life. 

I miss my Mom. It was strange not wondering what to get her for her birthday last August. It’s hard shopping for Christmas and knowing she’s not on my list this year. I’ve already seen a few things she’d like, and I’d have gotten them too, but I had to stop myself in a moment of reality. She’s with me, but she’s not here. She was a good mom, brass tacks and strong in ways only the heavens can understand. I draw on that strength as I go through the holidays this year. I’ll need every bit of it I can get.

Thank you for visiting Effectively Human. I hope you’ll come back and see me again real soon. 

M. J.

©2013 All Rights Reserved

Photo credit: Peter Wenceslaus – A Turkey in a Landscape, PD-US