Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The Man and The Turkey

 

The man above is my father, the picture probably taken either by my mother or one of my sisters who sent it to me.

I believe he loved Thanksgiving Day better than any other holiday, except maybe Easter. 

Of course it was my mother who planned and prepared the food and the table for all holidays. Wish I had a Thanksgiving Day picture of her for here. 

They were a great cooking team, especially when he was cooking outside. He was a superb outdoor cook, both on his grill or his smoker.  

I actually don't remember Daddy washing dishes as they accumulated on Thanksgiving Day in the kitchen. It was a different time then; sorry RH, you missed out on that.

But he was always in the kitchen helping Mama that day, after he'd come home from cooking at the Men's Breakfast at church where he'd fried the stacks of country ham slices for the crowd. 

One of my treasured memories is being outside with clippers on a cold dark day, gathering snippets of shrubbery for the table centerpiece, and looking up to the kitchen window and seeing Daddy and Mama working together in the kitchen, and my younger sisters through the glass door to the den, maybe watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on television. 

It was one of those rare moments as a teenager when my thoughts turned from my own important personal world to seeing my family as I would a Rembrandt painting--a lump in my throat, struck by the beauty of them all. 

The picture of Daddy above, with Mama's traditional Thanksgiving dishes set around the turkey he was about to carve, strikes me the same way right now and makes me miss this man so very much. It was a Thanksgiving when they lived a great distance away from RH and me and our family so I was not there. 

I'm thankful this day before Thanksgiving Day for the years I was there with my mother and father and three younger sisters.

 

9 comments:

  1. Sweet memories, Dewena. I'm mindful of the song lyric "you don't know what you've got til it's gone", and I love the vignette of you seeing your parents through the window from the garden. Moments like that are like lights that shine throughout life, lights of love and blessing.
    I am so blessed to still have both of my parents, now 86 and 88, who live independently, and cook and clean for themselves, and sew and volunteer. I know that one day it will not be so and am storing up memories for that day.

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    1. They are sweet memories, Lorrie, and I love your description of these moments of light that appear to us when we're blessed with a memory.

      When I read of your parents still here and able to live independently I remembered a recent picture you shared of them, on their anniversary I believe. They were beautiful walking down the path in the woods together, both of them with such erect posture. I think you must be much like both of them.

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  2. Oh, how I love this photo and your sweet memories of your parents and this special holiday. I have really fond memories of Thanksgiving from when I was a child too, and I get quite nostalgic about it and really miss those times. My grandparents, great-aunt and uncle, and my dad are now passed away. My sister and an aunt are estranged from our family. My youngest son and two nieces all live out of state. My uncle and his family (my aunt-in-law and cousins) spend Thanksgiving with her side of the family. And my oldest son, as you know, has also passed away. So these past few Thanksgivings have been just me and Brian, my mom, and an aunt and uncle. How I miss those times with our big, extended family with tons of food, kids running around, music playing in the basement and people dancing, the men gathered round the table playing poker. Those were the days!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
    xoxo

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    1. Melanie, it makes me happy that a blog post of mine brings back happy memories from long ago to those who read it but we all know that along with that also comes memories that hurt. And I always hurt knowing that you lost your beautiful son not too many years before I first met you. From this mama's heart to yours, I send love and a big hug to you on this Thanksgiving Day.

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  3. Lovely memories.
    Happy Thanksgiving wishes.

    All the best Jan

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    1. I am blessed with good memories of my parents, so very thankful for that.

      All the best to you, too, Jan!

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  4. What a wonderful memory of your family on Thanksgiving. Being able to step out of yourself and appreciate the love and beauty of the moment at such a young age is such a gift. One you can still unwrap years later. I would have been the one in front of the tv watching the parade and after that, Miracle on 34th Street!

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    1. Thank you so much, Ellen! I'm very grateful to have that memory of my sweet family, and so many more. I love Miracle on 34th Street too, the old one! We had the parade on yesterday but wished there was more coverage of the floats and high school bands--and a little less promotion and talking. I guess that makes us old fogies!

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  5. Wonderful post! The feelings you describe I also find overwhelming me as I get older. I don't think it is something as sentimental as "nostalgia." Maybe it is that we are less distracted than we used to be, and feel deeply the unnaturalness of the death and separation that marks our earthly life. Without a hope of the afterlife, this experience would be unbearably bleak.

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