Ever since I was a little girl, I have always had a rumbly tumbly feeling of excitement as Thanksgiving approaches. There is something ever so special about family and friends gathering together ‘round a table of home-cooked food, sharing stories and laughter.
Mom and Dad always hosted Thanksgiving. Way before they had a dining room set, we lined up folding tables and celebrated. Mom would let me write the nametags and set the tables. I was also in charge of the pickle trays and stuffed celery, always arranged in the sparkly glass dishes Mom had received as wedding gifts many years before.
Years have passed, but we still head back to Mom and Dad’s house for this special day. We each cook a few sides and the pieces of the puzzle mesh perfectly once we all arrive. The house smells just like it should and the chatter and excitement still fill the air.
Today will be different. Dad will not be there in his chair. Our first Thanksgiving without him. I have a lump in my throat as I write this. But I will force myself, not to wallow in sadness and loss today, but to remember the years of thanks that came before…years filled with family and football and an endless stream of pies.