“Bless be the tie that binds, Our hearts in…eternal…love, …Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, Our comforts and our cares. We share each other’s woes, Our mutual burdens bear, And often for each other flows, The sympathizing tear.” (by John Fawcett)
Thanksgiving is made for memories, making new ones for the next generation, and remembering times spent with those we’ve lost from the last generation. It is full of special tastes and smells, of food that may only be made that one day in the year. It can be poignant and full of love, it can be painful and reft with regret.
Like the families that gather together for this holiday, it doesn’t need to be perfect. If the turkey is served with love it can be dry or salty and it will only generate a communal bit of humor and a story that will be shared again and again, like the one about Great Aunt Net who belonged to the Temperance Union drinking Peach Schnapps thinking it a fruit cordial, or the story about the dog trying to make away with the “resting” turkey.
The hard and sad underbelly of the holidays is what it is like to get through them in less loving times. For those who had painful childhoods, for families who are missing members to death or deployments, to those struggling with conflicts, unemployment, or in the midst of divorce, a holiday can be the neon sign flashing a warning signal of anger or loss or hurt.
But that acknowledged, I take comfort from the fact that families can be astoundingly resilient. The ties that bind us can be amazingly elastic, and though stretched at times, they can be restored, reknitted, or retied.
For me creating holiday memories for my children filled in the blanks from my childhood. Now I watch and I see them building upon what we shared with their children, our grandchildren, while I bake Gingerbread Cookies and Pumpkin Bread, Stollen and Rugallah, continuing to make memories, adding more threads to the ties that bind us together.
- Thank turkeys it is over. ( photos from our holiday) (chubbymermaid.wordpress.com)
- Let’s Talk Turkey (fiercefatties.com)