How did we get here so quickly? I have been absent from this place for many months. I got hired by the local school system as an Educational Assistant 14 months ago. That position, added to all my other roles, depleted my energy and ability to write for quite some time. But lately, I have had a deep stirring in my soul. My words are pushing harder to be shared.
The last two months brought devastating loss to my life. It is loss I cannot discuss in a public forum but I think it helped to bring my words back to the surface and brought back my desire to share my thoughts.
Thanksgiving Day, 2019, I cooked a fairly large dinner for five of us, my husband, our three sons, and myself. I prepared our traditional Thanksgiving favorites, including Mama Jean's sweet potato casserole and adding Stove Top stuffing to the mix and homemade gravy. It was all so yummy and we still haven't even cut into the pies.
After we shared our meal at the dining room table, I put away the food that needed to be refrigerated and then joined my menfolk in the living room. I was set to put in my Miracle on 34th Street DVD when the middle son told me to hand him the remote controls so he could get the wonderful technology-enhanced version through some app we had recently acquired. I am not sure how I am going to ever be able to watch television when the twenty-somethings move out into their own places- only half kidding!
Somehow in the two minutes he had the remote controls, we went from getting ready to watch my favorite Christmas movie to their favorite Sci Fi show. In their defense, I told them that I truly didn't mind, and I truly don't mind.
I sat down, thinking about how Miracle on 34th Street became my favorite holiday movie... I was living in a two bedroom house and the movie came on perfectly timed at the end of the Thanksgiving feast I had prepared for my young children and myself. There was no cable or On Demand. It was probably our third Thanksgiving in Knoxville after moving here when they were almost 4 and 2 years old. I was working for the State of Tennessee and raising them on my own, separated from their father (that term used loosely, since he had abandoned us repeatedly throughout their young lives.) Our tummies were full and the movie was a sweet story of a beautiful little girl and her single mom who were being courted by the handsome neighbor. It was a wonderful way to enjoy quiet time with my little people and to let our food digest before we went for a walk; somehow that movie became a symbol to me of always persevering and believing in better times that are yet to be and became my holiday favorite for years and years.
I remarried a few years later and the movie was still a favorite. Two more children were added to the family and at some point, the movie became part of the past as far as Thanksgiving Day went. But I bought the DVD and decided it would always be part of my holiday traditions. Then at some point in the last decade, the movie got pushed out of the traditions and moved into the memories section. I was determined to bring it back; it's a sweet story, right?
But here I sit, typing my thoughts while some baby Yoda look alike is strolled across my television's screen with three men happily watching.
Traditions are nice but less and less set in stone around here. And I'm okay with that because the men are still content to be here with me on this special day. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I have so much to be grateful for and these men are at the top of the list. Other special souls have reached out and sent their love and some beautiful photos which made my heart happy and left me smiling. I am counting my blessings on this Thanksgiving Day and I hope you are also friends!