Thursday, November 26, 2009


This was a first for me. I am alone on Thanksgiving Day. For as long as I can remember, I have been around family or friends on this day. Today, it's just another Thursday! but I did give thanks.

It's not that I didn't have anywhere to go, or I could have made my own dinner and invited one or more to it. For the past 28 years, I have been going to my sister's house for T-day. This year she decided not to cook, partially due to an accident she had in her SUV five days prior, part due to tight finances (not surprising with the economy today), and part due to fewer attendees. I'm 140 miles away but would have driven to celebrate with them had she cooked. My son has issues with attending anymore, due to a falling out last Christmas. That left my sister and her son, and their friends (many either already committed to other places or out-of-town).

Thanksgiving use to be the 'opening celebration' to the coming holiday season...Christmas, Hanakkah, and New Years...and in the past there had been as many as 24 people attending the dinner at Toni's. Everyone helped by bringing covered dishes, wine, desserts, appetizers...doing dishes, carving the turkey...pitching in and making it a community effort. Christmas dinner was much the same, except that there were always more Jews than Christians attending. We mused at the irony. My husband and lots of our friends were Jewish.

Things have changed a lot since my husband, George, died seven years ago. Children grow up, friends grow apart, and the loss of family and 'family of friends' has taken a toll on tradition. I have been in a constant state of change for seven years and I feel very good about it, about where it is leading me and where I want it to lead me.

Tradition is a wonderful thing but you can't let it dictate your happiness. I am thankful for each and every day I wake up and I'm given another chance for joy and happiness. I am thankful to be who I am and where I am right now. I am thankful to know that I have the love and support of family and friends. I am thankful for the journey I am on and the discoveries I have made and will make. When we need tradition, we can have it or make new ones. Life is a journey, not a destination. Change is inevitable and necessary for growth. You can let it happen to you or you can take charge of the direction. I choose to take control. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

No comments: