November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008 We Gather Together

Much joy in our Empty Nest as it will be full for a few days over this holiday. Husband and I have big smiles on our faces and are very excited about Son's visit. We have not seen him since August 16th, but whose counting? (Husband and I are excited about picking him up at the local airport, and not struggling with traffic. On Drop-off day, we took Son's picture near the front gate of the university, crossed the busy city street holding hands and crying. Husband told me, "Don't look back" and we walked into the parking garage without turning around. I couldn't stop crying -- lucky for me that the Screaming (my Screaming) stopped my crying as we tried to cross eight lanes of the Beltway in our unfamiliar rented van.)

Now back to our regularly scheduled rant -- The Raven wishes a very Happy Thanksgiving to her gentle readers. With so much suffering in our communities and our world, how can we be grateful? I am so mindful and prayerful today of my friend whose sixty-three year old mother is combating a serious, immediate lifethreatening illness, my friend whose husband lost his job and brother within weeks, my friend who is soon to lose a job and will have no severance, my friend who cares for a disabled spouse and has very little money, oh-- and there are others. I think mindfully and prayerfully of my dear mother-in-law, in the hospital with pneumonia. I am mindful and prayerful of others whose difficulties cannot be mentioned, but are causing them great spiritual and mental anguish. We all have people in our lives, or perhaps ourselves, who are facing the holiday season with problems, concerns, issues, and tragedy.

Okay, Raven, so what's your point? Are you trying purposely to bring us down? (Wow, I'm so filled up with the power of my own words that I'm talking to myself on my blog.)

We have no control over many situations. And I cannot walk in any of these shoes. But what gives me comfort and for what I am grateful in my life are the small moments....

The hour before the Macy's day parade on TV when the Broadway singers perform
The Underdog balloon in the parade (Man, am I getting old or what?)
While we won't be with extended family this year, I love the memories of sitting around a family table filled with every imaginable kind of starch -- with all our beautiful boys at the kid's table -- and listening to my brother-in-law say a prayer. I secretly like to open my eyes and look around the table at each person.
Spiral sliced ham, punkin' pie (as we say in the Flyover States) with Readi-Whip, Nana's famous cheese ball, glazed carrots, Waldorf salad, green bean casserole, all made lovingly by Husband, who is a fantastic cook (despite the arguments about real pie crust versus Pillsbury in the bag. I'm for the Pillsbury in the bag.)

My Thanksgiving wish for you is that you take time to enjoy small, special moments and those of memory even during these difficult times. I am grateful for your friendship and love. Quoth the raven.