Growing up, I didn't appreciate Thanksgiving as much as I do now. Oh, I loved getting turkey and various pies and I put up with seeing my family, but as I've gotten older, I've found a new found appreciation for the last Thursday in November. Maybe it's a natural thing to come later in age but I wish I had found the value in the holiday sooner.
For me, today represents a day for reflection. During holidays of the past, I remember very clearly my father sitting at the head of the table as he normally did, eyes slightly watery as he gave an opening statement before we would start to make our collective food babies.
"On this day, let's not just be thankful for who we have with us, but also remember those that came before us and those that couldn't be here with us today".
My family is older, many of my brothers and sisters have families of their own to share the holiday with and have begun to carve out their own traditions. For me, I was blessed to host my wife's family for Thanksgiving dinner at our house last year, my first time ever hosting and the first Thanksgiving without my father. I had a hard time making it through that day knowing he had passed but a few months before that.
I didn't know what to say since I had never been in that position before. I sat at the head of the table, a place that had always felt like my father's throne and sat silent, collecting my thoughts. When the time came to begin the meal, I said the only thing I could think of to say at that moment. The opening my father would always say.
"On this day, let's not just be thankful for who we have with us, but also remember those that came before us and those that couldn't be here with us today". I welled up inside, probably shed a little bit of a tear, and carried on with my wife's family happy, eating, and enjoying the moment.
As I start my second Thanksgiving without my father, I think back to that phrase my father used to say and only now do I appreciate what he would reflect on, with the small tear in his eye. Life is short, life is precious, and our time on this planet is fleeting. Be thankful for all that you have, all your friends, your family (even if they drive you crazy) because at the end of the day, we are all truly lucky to have these people in our lives and to be able to spend time with them. It won't last forever, but as long as we cherish them today, it can seem that way.
From all the moderators, editors, and writers here at Addicted to Quack, thank you for being a part of our family. Be thankful for who we have with us, remember those that came before us, and those that couldn't be here today.