As the Thanksgiving Holiday quickly approaches, I pray that each of us will create cherished memories with our family and friends. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because of the memories that it conjures up, and of course all the good grub : ) As a child I remember my Grandmother’s getting up early to prepare the Thanksgiving meal. The smells of Turkey and dressing, macaroni and cheese, and cakes and pies would awaken all of us little rascals into a frenzy of cleaning and preparation. Family would come from out-of-town, and for some reason, Thanksgiving makes the World seem right. For one day, the family members would put aside their differences and smile for a change. The men would huddle around the big floor model television and watch the football games and at halftime we would run outside to toss the pig skin around…pretending to be Tony Dorsett and Roger Staubach.
I would watch my grandmother and great-grandmother smile proudly as they served their every growing brood of descendents. Neighbors would stop by and exchange desserts, and show off their out-of-town grandchildren. The phone would ring constantly with well wishers giving thanks for another year. After the meal, the food coma would cast its spell on everyone, and we children would tease those that were drooling in their sleep. As darkness fell, the crowd would slowly disperse, and the noise would diminish. My grandmother would begin making take home plates wrapped in foil, and cleaning the kitchen. It was at this time I would see my Moma Sarah (that’s what everyone called her) sit down in her favorite chair and lift her tired feet onto the ottoman. In spite of the exhaustion, their seemed to be a sense of calm satisfaction, and she would drift off to sleep.
As a child, I did not understand that look, but the older I become, the more I can relate to that calmness. I see it now in my wife and her sisters serving the meal, and smiling over the family. There is a euphoric joy found in serving those that you love. To know that God has heard our prayers and blessed us to fellowship one more day is reason enough to give thanks. One more day to hear our children laughing and playing. One more day to hear our elders wisdom and stories for the ten thousandth time. One more day to hold hands with our spouses. One more day to get loud while watching football with the men. One more meal, one more blessing, one more day to give thanks. All of these memories and feelings make Thanksgiving special, but more importantly our fore-parents showed us the greatest example by serving others, and I want to thank them for their giving.
Are you serving the way our fore-parents served? What are your favorite thanksgiving memories?