Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Thanksgiving Remembrance

I always enjoyed Thanksgiving each year and the good foods offered from family members along with the holiday cheer, laughter and love. Our family was small: my daughter Marcy, my husband, my mother-in-law, my parents, and my step-brother’s family. The 10 of us enjoyed the festivities each year at one of our homes, all of us taking turns every few years to prepare the turkey.

The last Thanksgiving we spent together in 1993, a few months before my daughter died, was especially nice. She had just gotten married and she and her husband drove in to be with us. We had so much fun, but there are two things that will stays with me always about that particular Thanksgiving and always puts a smile on my face.

The first happened after dinner. Marcy and her husband went into the guest bedroom and took out the trundle bed, pushing it together, I could see her unhappy face. “What’s the matter?” I asked. “We were just married a month ago,” she said, “and you expect us to sleep in two different beds!” She was serious! And I just laughed. “You’ll have a lifetime of sleeping together,” I said. “This one time of being a few inches apart won’t matter.” Little did I know they would only have four months together before the car accident.

The second incident happened when they were leaving a few days later. My husband put a U of A sticker on the back of her car as they were backing out of the driveway (she was an ASU graduate). She saw us laughing, knew something was up, stopped the car, got out and went around to the back, saw the sticker, took it off, put it on “our” car and drove off waving and smiling. It was so typical of Marcy and my husband, who always teased each other. My heart overflowed with love for her wit, sarcasm and generosity. It was a time of happiness I will never forget, since it was the last time I ever saw her in a family setting.

Now when Thanksgiving rolls around, we usually spend the time with my best friend and her family. It is always nice to be with them, but Thanksgiving is no longer a holiday I look forward to. Everyone but my husband and I have a family member there. They are all laughing and talking about the latest gossip or stories from the children and grandchildren. I don’t have anything to share, so I just sit and listen. I smile at the stories. I know they don’t understand how much I miss Marcy and how I would love to tell a story also. I don’t expect them to understand or acknowledge her; it’s been 17 years. They are not bereaved parents. But it’s hard just the same and always will be.

Thanksgiving is a holiday for us to give thanks. I thank God I had Marcy for 27 years to enjoy, hear her laughter, see her tears, smell that perfume she loved so much, and always touch and hug her. Yes, I still have something to be thankful for on this and every Thanksgiving: my beautiful daughter that I will always love and cherish.

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