As a kid, I used to enjoy holidays mainly because it meant we had days off from school. By the age of 13, there was only one holiday that I actually cared about anymore.
That holiday was Thanksgiving. I cared about it even more than Christmas because it was the only time of the year that my mother would make her cornbread dressing. Actually, as a kid, it was also the only time of the year we would have turkey, but turkey didn’t mean as much without the dressing.
Why not Christmas? Sure, on Christmas you get all sorts of gifts, but when you think about it, you’re always getting gifts. You get gifts for your birthday. And, being an only child, your parents are always giving you stuff here and there. Actually, I think most kids probably get gifts, or other things during the year, and don’t think about it as anything special. I have always thought that the stuff I got was pretty special because I figured my parents didn’t ever really have to give me anything. So, Christmas was never really anything all that special; and no, I’m not religious either.
So, it was always Thanksgiving for me. The family would get together, and, odd enough, it was often the only meal of the year that all of us would sit at the same table for dinner. How strange is that? All of us have always had our own TV’s, and most of the time we watched different shows, so we rarely shared meals with each other either.
The last Thanksgiving all of us shared with each other, my dad knew he was really sick and probably wouldn’t make another one. It was my dad, mother, grandmother, wife, and myself. I wasn’t feeling all that thankful because I felt like I knew what was coming also; lung cancer, diabetes and renal failure doesn’t give one many chances for a full recovery. My mother really went all out for the meal, and for one day, Dad didn’t worry about sticking to this strict died they’d put him on. We had a blast on that day, and forgot everything for a few hours.
After that, things were never the same. I brought my mother and grandmother to my house a couple of years. Mom made her dressing only one more time. One of those years, Mom went on a trip out of town with some group, and my grandmother stayed with us, but we didn’t do anything overly special.
Now, Thanksgiving doesn’t mean as much to me anymore, and, since it was the last holiday I cared about, it means that I have no more holidays that I care about at all. I see it as a special day whenever I see my mother or grandmother, which means I don’t need one day to call a special day. Mom has stated she’s never making the cornbread dressing again, so I’ll never have that in my life again, as I never learned how to make it.
Last year we had food from Cracker Barrel, which was okay. This year we had food from Boston Market, much tastier. It’s easy food to eat and heat up, and it seems that’s the way we’ll be going from this point on. The day either my mother or grandmother aren’t here anymore, if they go before me (and that’s not guaranteed), nothing else will change because my wife and I know we can get food elsewhere, since we don’t know how to cook a real Thanksgiving meal either.
What we will miss is the opportunity to sit and have a meal with Mom or my grandmother; that will be sad for sure. But it won’t have to be Thanksgiving anymore.
So, I’m thankful for every day from this point on; but Thanksgiving itself… I wish everyone else a happy one, and of course I wish happiness on you every other day of the year also.