You might think the moments are all about the turkey.
But you would be wrong.
Along with relatives and favorite recipes, many parts of life show up for a seat at your table.
For example, Father Time has never missed a single Thanksgiving meal.
Notice more gray in a favorite uncle’s beard and new laugh lines around a sweet aunt’s eyes and you remember that Time is forever present. Last year the new grandbaby was a bald cherub, passed from one adoring set of arms to another. This year that little cherub is sitting upright in a highchair, throwing noodles, smearing gravy in her curls and reminding everyone that babies are even more perfect when their faces are dirty. Time sits in different seats around the table, never crowding anyone but never leaving, either.
Along with Time, Loss will be there too, even when absolutely no one sent an invitation.
Loss makes the eyes burn and the heart ache.
When Grandpa is no longer there to say grace or Dad had a stroke and can’t carve the turkey or no one can make the dressing exactly like grandma did, that is when you stare Loss right in the face.
Time and Loss remind us about breathing in and celebrating blessings.
Absolutely nothing stays the same.
We age and we die. That’s the way it goes.
In between those two very natural parts of life, there are lots of beautiful moments to fall in love with, so don’t waste any of it.
Thanksgiving can’t be all lovey-dovey, though, right?
Wanna know why? Because Dysfunction grabs a seat at lots of holiday tables, too.
If you secretly hope each year that a certain person in your family gets a flu virus before the feast, don’t think you are alone. Have you accidentally on purpose given someone the wrong address for where you live because you don’t want them showing up at your house when you host the dinner? Do not feel like the Lone Ranger.
Most families have at least one brat or two, a know-it-all, a prima donna and a couple of drama darlings at the table.
More often than not, someone staring over that centerpiece is either the family favorite, the best stab-you-in-the-backer or the peacemaker no one likes. And just about every family has a certain someone who cannot be trusted around purses or alcohol.
Every person in your presence has taught you something about where you belong or where you don’t and who you are. That’s one reason why so many people have somewhere to be on Thanksgiving Day. If you have people who love you, then it’s a no brainer. You know where you belong.
Knowing who a laugh belongs to long before you see that individual’s face or anticipating that the deviled eggs will be served on that same blue plate with the cracked edge, these are examples of how feeling loved makes you feel grounded. And you know that traditions embroider your heartbeat.
When everyone you touch has a history with you, warmth fills your chest.
When you sit down tomorrow with those who love you and count on your presence, don’t forget to smile at Time, say a prayer for Loss and secretly roll your eyes when the dysfunctional nut cakes get on your nerves.