The memories of those long ago Thanksgivings crowd my mind on this special day. The table groaned with food, but if you wanted mashed potatoes, you had to get in line ahead of Andy and Derrick.
Jim always had his video camera. He “interviewed” everyone and one year shot a video of an impromptu football game. As he showed the video on the TV someone crashed into a small tree. My dad leaned forward in his recliner, pointed at the TV, and boomed in his “unhappy” voice, “Hey, that’s the tree I planted!”
Yes, Thanksgiving holds many happy memories, and a few sad ones. My dad was the one who insisted we all come home for Thanksgiving. “You can spend Christmas with your in-laws, but the only way we’ll all get together is if you come home for Thanksgiving.” The year my dad died, I had Jim stop at the cemetery to visit my dad’s grave so that he could “see” me on Thanksgiving.
It was almost unbearably sad the first Thanksgiving after Jim was in a nursing home. That was a long, lonely drive with my mind crowded with memories of Thanksgiving past. The ten years living with Jim’s dementia were the most challenging of my life. Still, laced throughout that time are many happy memories, loving moments, and tender moments that will always live in my heart.
On this Thanksgiving morning, I browsed my Facebook photos looking for one to share. As I went down through the photos, I realized that I am truly blessed. Photo after photo of events, reunions, friends, family—old photos, new photos, old memories, recent events.
I have been blessed with love—unselfish and unconditional. I’ve been blessed with the best family ever. I’ve been incredibly lucky in love.
My life has taken some detours, but I know I’m in the place right now where I was meant to be. Of course, I have regrets, but overall everything has worked out and most decisions moved me along the path of my destiny.
I thank God that I’ve been blessed with an optimistic nature. It’s brought me through the bad times and made me realize that life is cyclical—good times are always ahead.
No matter what I physically do this Thanksgiving, my heart is full of gratitude. I have health, love, and the best family possible. All is well.
Copyright © November 2017 by L.S. Fisher