The ebb and flow of life and introspection. So many beautiful memories of Thanksgiving, many that I shared with my parents and my Aunt and Uncle when we were all together in New Jersey. We had tradition and wonderful food, and we never missed a holiday together. My Aunt would always serve the canned jellied cranberry sauce which she sliced into circles, laid on equally perfect rounds of fresh orange..each one placed with surgical precision around the huge brown bird. Crystal goblets, fine china–everything polished and fresh for the holiday. The hors doeuvres were always served downstairs with adult cocktails, each year she presented chopped liver with square crackers and tiny bowls of salted peanuts. All expected and all quite comforting. My Aunt’s sister would have just have that one more Black Russian to put her in the mood. Dinner was always served upstairs in the grand dining room. Looking back as we do and remembering…my Mom and my Dad have both passed on, my older brother lies in a psychiatic hospital and my middle brother lives in California with my sister-in-law and his wonderful twin boys. My Aunt still lives and today is on watch in NYC while my Uncle has Open Heart Surgery. This is just how it is this year.
For me, I left the warm arms of New Jersey in 1991 for the unknown in Florida. At that time I was chasing a job assignment and running from the pain of loss. I soon married and raised a blended family. Now my stepsons have a life of their own, one will be visiting his own family– my daughter-in-law and grandson– and the other will be spending Thanksgiving in Texas with new friends. I want to embrace all of the changes that life brings to us, some so difficult and heartbreaking and others so warm and delightful. I am very thankful that the light of my life, my daughter, will be returning from college on Wednesday to share the Thanksgiving break with us. She is the cord that binds us, she knows my heart. We are a small family now, but a peaceful, tranquil one and I will enjoy the quiet still with her. We will cook and bake together and make new memories and connections that she will pass on to her children. For we never know how long we will be here and when we will be called away.
Rachel on her High school graduation day