As it was for so many this year, Thanksgiving for us was a family reunion of sorts. It was comfortable and comforting and just a teensy bit overwhelming.
I’ve always loved Thanksgiving, not necessarily the weirdly fabricated history of the holiday, but the gift-free, family and friend-filled, food-oriented nature of the day, pretty much all of my favorite things wrapped up in a neat little, long weekend.
As a kid, we shared the holiday with siblings and parents, cousins and grandparents, aunts and uncles, and, as adults, though the players have changed, we are still children and parents, cousins and siblings, as well as friends who are like family. We hosted this year, so there was lots of planning and shopping and cooking leading up to the day. All of our adult children helped to prepare and showed up early. Every guest brought something to share, side dishes, desserts and appetizers, wine and whiskey and beer.
But it wasn’t the food that that nourished us this year, and it wasn’t just the spirits that raised our own. It was – more than any other year I can remember – the joy of embracing those we love, sharing a day without conflicting opinions on timely topics, marveling at the adults our children have become (mostly in the midst of the pandemic), and appreciating the temporary nature of the moment.
Like many families, we shared the experience of great loss during the past few years, not only lives lost but also loss of faith in what we thought we knew. For me, yesterday served as a reminder to give thanks, to keep faith, and to always strive to see the better nature of people, particular of those I love.