I love Thanksgiving. An entire holiday dedicated to family and food! What's not to love? Okay, so it helps that I love my family and we're all really good cooks. But still. Unlike many of the religious holidays which are exclusive, or even the Fourth which is a blast, and #2 holiday in my book, but really about celebration, Thanksgiving is intended for us to to gather and celebrate all the things we are grateful for. To reflect and meditate on the things we have, not the things we want. Awesome.
I was very excited to be going downstate to my aunt's house to celebrate. Sure, it's a three hour drive. Sure, I'd be making the return trip later in the day and therefore couldn't drink myself silly. No matter. I love my aunt and uncle, and my grandpa. My kids love them too. We are a small family and we are close. This was the first family holiday without my grandma. Grandpa is having a difficult time, which is to be expected- they were married for 70 years and were honestly *IN LOVE*. The kind that you read about that you think isn't actually true. You know what I mean. They had it. So he cries a lot. And I knew today would be hard for him. This is one reason I was so intent on going downstate, because I knew he would feel better having his family surrounding him.
We made it through dinner just fine, but after we'd pushed ourselves away from the table to make room for our stomachs, Grandpa busted out a CD he'd had made from an old audio recording. THANKSGIVING 1994. My aunt Sue, Grandpa, and I sat at the table to listen to the CD. On the CD (I keep wanting to say tape) was my Great Aunt Helen (Grandma's sister, whom we were very close with), Grandma, her best friend Jean, husband Bill, and daughter Carol, Aunt Sue, my little sister, my mom, and me. Aunt Helen, Mom, and Grandma are gone now, and just hearing their voices, so alive with stories and laughter, was as wonderful as it was sad. The three of us sat at the table and cried.
Then my oldest daughter (who is still going by GG, but it now stands for Gymnastics Girl due to her skills in bending and stretching), came over to the table. GG is a funny girl. An Aquarius, for those of you who might understand what that means. Anyway, she's off the beaten path at times, and had chosen at this moment to play restaurant with us. She came over to the table and presented us with her menu.
She took my order then Aunt Sue's. We were laughing hysterically. I told her to get Grandpa's order. He hadn't been paying attention to us- he was in the land of memory. GG went up to him, tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention, and handed him the menu. He looked at it and said, "I'll have Organs on the Bone, Brain Juice, and the Tooth Sundae." Then he handed her back the menu, with no reaction except a small smile creeping on his face.
It was the single greatest moment of the day, beating the first bite of my AMAZING dressing and that second glass of wine. It's also reason #9340293480940289475209 that I love my kids.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Listening to: Faith No More "Angel Dust"