Thanksgiving is almost here again. Do you dread it? Me too, probably for different reasons. I’ll be in California, taking care of my dad and driving him three hours each way to my brother’s house, where I will be surrounded by in-laws I barely know and oodles and boodles of kids. I’ll be the odd widowed sister/aunt hanging with her father while the men watch football and the women gather in the kitchen.
I’m sure you have heard about the fires blazing in California. Horrible. Whichever route I take from Oregon, I’ll be driving through smoke and devastation. I feel a little guilty for everything I still have, and I feel that I have no right to whine about anything, so I won’t. Instead, I’m going to be grateful. I urge you to do the same.
I know how hard it is being surrounded by children and their parents who don’t understand why you aren’t parents, too, who don’t get that it’s a painful subject which may be far from resolved. You’re likely to hear clueless comments about how you’re rich because you don’t have kids or how you’d better get pregnant soon because you’re not getting any younger. You may be dealing with stepchildren who don’t seem to enjoy your company.
And don’t get me started on the TV commercials with all those happy families.
I urge you to read the comment that came in recently from the woman who worries about finding a man who will understand that she can’t give them children because pregnancy makes her horribly sick. You think you’ve got troubles?
No matter what our situation, we do have things to be thankful for, such as:
- The people we love
- Our homes and everything in them
- Our health, if we have it
- Clean water
- Our beloved pets
- Our work
- Our hobbies
- Books, art, music
- God, if you believe
- Each other
- A chance to start fresh every morning
We don’t have everything we want. Nobody does. But think about the people of Paradise, California. They have lost their homes and their whole town. At last count, 50 people had died, some of them incinerated in their cars while they were trying to get away. In Southern California, others are going through the same thing. They have a right to mourn this Thanksgiving.
We have an obligation to help however we can and to celebrate the lives we still have. If you’re surrounded by babies, grab the nearest one and marvel at the miracle of this tiny person with her tiny toes and her toothless smile. Maybe you’ll have one of your own, maybe not, but this baby is here right now, grabbing onto your finger, snuggling against your chest. Enjoy.
I know. Easier to say than to do. If you need to take a time out, do it. Run away to nature, take a walk around the neighborhood, or excuse yourself for an emergency shopping trip. Don’t we always need more wine? Then take a deep breath, count the hours till it’s over, go back in, and pet the nearest dog.
And if you happen to be alone, put on your favorite clothes, treat yourself to a good meal, watch a movie, and enjoy the peace and quiet.
I am always grateful for you who read this blog. I might miss you next week while I’m in the land of no wi-fi, gorging on pumpkin pie, but I’ll be reading your comments. Can you add to the gratitude list? How about pie? I’m extremely grateful for pie.
P.S. We can do more than be grateful. We can help. Here’s some information on how to help the fire victims.
7 thoughts on “Here comes Thanksgiving again–and pie!”
I’m in the UK, so thankfully, no Thanksgiving here. All your comments apply to Christmas, of course. For me, it’s a trial to get through. I feel for you in the USA with two “family occasions” in the space of a month.
On a different note, I had lots of pumpkin lately, including my first pumpkin pie. Really, I wasn’t keen on the texture. I prefer it in savory dishes, like soups and curries.
Jenny, pumpkin isn’t my favorite pie. It is indeed the texture that is offputting. Some families serve pecan pie, and that is delightful.
We have Thanksgiving in October in Canada — so been there, done that already. 😉 Safe travels, Sue!! The photos my California friends have been posting on social media have been truly scary. 😦
I know. I’m pretty nervous about the whole trip. Thanks, Loribeth61.
Just found your blog. What a blessing, something truly to be thankful for. Thought I was alone in my barren baby boomness. Every year I wonder if there isn’t a whole generation of childless women choking down turkey and pie and mourning their lost families? Thanks again for the post. Drive careful.
That’s nice that you have a tribe to hang out with though. I have no extended family.
I hope you enjoy the men’s banter as they watch football and the women’s chatter in the kitchen. Maybe you will get to know them a bit better. Doubt anyone will think anything about you not having kids. The conversation will revolve around many other topics besides kids. Hope your dad has a good time too,
What a wonderful post. There are times when I too stop and think, “Okay, I don’t have a child and I’m barely figuring out how to keep my own crazy life on track, but at least I have A, B, C, D, E, & F to be grateful for.” When you stop and think about how their whole town is destroyed – wow. That’s your grocery store, your church, your library, your favorite little independent shops, your friend’s home, your playground, your daily existence and for some of them who grew up in Paradise, the whole history of their lives.
I’m not really living my dream life these days, and that is frustrating, but wow. How awful it would feel if my current existence was gone?
The last couple of years have been difficult for me because of a family member who devastated and humiliated me. I’m embarrassed to admit how this ONE PERSON’S opinion of my life really knocked me off course. I put too much stock into what she said, and I couldn’t recover. The words were her fault, but it was my failure for not growing stronger from the situation. Anyway, I’ve been ignoring her and waiting for an apology. And as the years passed and no apology was uttered, I found myself growing bitter.
This year I realized that if I someday wanted to be free, then I would have to do something. I imagined not being invited to the children’s special moments. Perhaps not even their weddings. Or I’d be invited and would attend awkwardly. So, because of THEIR children, I reached out to this family member and asked if we could start over. She agreed (although without the apology).
So I eventually reached out. It’s an incredible challenge for me to “forgive and forget” (especially without that damn apology). But I set aside my pain and built a bridge for honorable reasons – HER children. Another bitter pill to swallow – not even my own kids. But I’ve finally learned to forgive and NOT forget, which is sometimes okay and even appropriate.
I still wasn’t able to speak to her but I smiled at her with good feelings. I nodded in her direction positively. I finally felt peace and for that I’m grateful.