Season of Family
I like to think of November as the season of family. October’s beautiful autumn colors and fun, fall festivals have ended. Winter is yet to come and Thanksgiving is on the horizon. A time for family.
As a young girl, I remember my grandparents and other relatives gathering around our dinner table at Thanksgiving and it wasn’t followed by a football game on TV. We didn’t even have a TV. For us, Thanksgiving was a day for exactly that—giving thanks. Thankful for a home, no matter how small or humble. Thankful for the food we ate, much of which was grown on our farm. Thankful for family, friends and neighbors.
As a married couple my husband, Carl and I were blessed with family reunions from both sides on Thanksgiving Day. Parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and more. Yes, there was always a bounty of food but most of all, there was a community of family. It was a time to catch up with loved ones that we sometimes saw only once a year because of distance. A time to reminisce. To laugh, love and offer thanks to the Lord for our blessings.
As elders passed, those reunions ceased, and I missed them, but I also loved our new tradition of Thanksgiving in our own home. Carl and I worked as a team to put the meal together and were blessed to have our kids and grandkids at our table. We expected that to last forever. Then life changed again. Eight years ago, Carl was suddenly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was carried to heaven just seventeen days later. I miss him. Every. Single. Day.
In these eight years without Carl, my son, Jay, and I have spent Thanksgiving in different places and with different people and I have enjoyed each one. But wherever I go, I celebrate the legacy of those who have already left this earth but remain in my heart forever. They leave a rich heritage of faith and love, reminding us that “family” should always be cherished and celebrated—even revered.