Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Joy

Thanksgiving: my worst holiday. The last time I saw my daughter in a family setting back in 1993. But my mouth curls into a smile now, so many years later, as I remember her vibrant sense of humor and how we laughed and laughed at some funny comments and situations during those four days. A few examples…

She had come to town with her new husband to help us celebrate the holidays. They had just returned from their honeymoon in Greece and drove from California to Arizona to be with us. When she saw we only had a trundle bed set-up for them, she made a face and made sure the beds were pushed together. “Mother!” she admonished me. “We’re married now and want to sleep very close together.” I thought she was kidding. She was serious! I vowed to buy a larger bed for the next time.

The whole family came to Thanksgiving dinner, what little family we had: my mom and dad, now gone; my step-brother, his wife and two children; and a few friends. One of the friends who stopped by was my daughter’s good friend’s mother. She loved Marcy very much and appreciated her thoughtfulness. She relayed the story about an earthquake in Los Angeles, very close to where Marcy and her friend lived. After calling me that morning at 6:30 a.m. to tell me she was okay, I puzzled at why she had to tell me that. “What are you calling me so early for?” I asked. She told me there had been an earthquake and she didn’t want me to worry. She was safe under the dining room table! She then quickly told me she had to call her friend’s mom so she wouldn’t worry. The friend was on the East coast, not even in Los Angeles at the time of the earthquake. Her mom appreciated my daughter’s thoughtfulness that morning.

My daughter informed me that the day after Thanksgiving, she was going to have some college friends over that she hadn’t seen in years. I told her that was a good idea. “Mom,” she said, “how would you like to make your famous, delicious orange chicken?” Of course I knew she was trying to get me to cook for everyone. And like a good mother, I did. I loved seeing her old friends, that I also knew, get together, tell old college stories about classes, hated dorm roommates and fun times they had, laughing all the while. Their humor was infectious, and my side hurt for days from laughing so much.

When it was time for my daughter and her husband to leave, my husband and I watched her get into the car and start to back out of the driveway. She must have sensed something amiss because she got out of the car, went to the back of the car and ripped off some stickers of rival universities that my husband had put on her car bumper, before smiling, waving and driving off. It was a standard joke between the two of them and her intuition had been right. It was my daughter who had the last laugh as I looked at my husband’s unhappy face that he had not fooled her!

Light a candle this Thursday, Thanksgiving, for those children no longer with us. Recall how blessed we were to have them and how they brought such joy to our lives, each and every day.

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