Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Day...Not A Time For Bad Memories

Thanksgiving Day this year fell on November 28th. There is so much meaning in that day for me. My daughter was born on November 27th 1991, just 3 hours and 15 minutes shy of my mother's birthday. This year my mom would have been 84 on Thanksgiving, she passed away just a month shy of her 72nd birthday in 2001. Another event that happens on the 28th is the anniversary of my daddy literally falling over dead in a parking lot of a hamburger joint POOF just like that he was gone. He passed away in 1984.

We went to the ranch for Thanksgiving this year, my cousins' husband is the manager of Canadian Valley Ranch that is just north of Seminole, and it is only about 2 miles from where I grew up on the farm. My daughter wanted to drive over and see the farm so she and I took a little time out to drive over there. My daughter has some wonderful memories of the farm. Once my daughter turned about 5 or 6 she started going and spending weekends with my mom out at the farm as much as her activities permitted *okie still thinks she must have been crazy for letting her daughter be in basketball, girl scouts, soccer, tae kwon do and softball*, which was about every other weekend or so. We didn't go down the driveway because that would have been rude to drive all the way down there to just look and back up and knowing Curly, the man who bought the place from my mom, he would have invited us in for dinner if he had seen us.

We did notice on the mailbox, which just so happens to be the same one we had when I was growing up as a kid, we could still see where my mom had painted her name and box number. My daughter and I both got out and took pictures of the mailbox. I still remember my parents having that mailbox made. It is steel posts welded to a tire rim and pretty much how most all the folks had their mailboxes. When I went off to college and moved into town it was odd for me to not to have to walk down a long driveway to get the mail but instead just open the front door and look into the mailbox.

I also took a picture looking down the long driveway to post on Facebook for my niece to see since she had mentioned she would give anything to have one more Thanksgiving on the farm. Back when I was growing up on the farm we had all the relatives at our house for dinner and it was nothing for us to have a crowd of 20-30 for dinner. Oh and if you are curious, that driveway is almost a quarter of a mile long. I can't remember the times I had to run that driveway to catch the bus, or how many times I stood at the end in the rain, cold or snow waiting for the bus because it was late. I don't ever remember complaining because that was just the way it was when you grew up in the country.

As we got back in the van my daughter said "I think I am going to cry". I told her "don't cry Shiane, just smile...grandma would want you to smile and remember all the good times". Shiane went on to describe the inside of the house and then talk about some of things she and mom would do on her visits.

Now let me tell ya, I hear so many people having a hard time with holidays because loved ones are not there or that "oh it's terrible because we lost so and so on that day". I can honestly say I had no feelings of sadness on Thanksgiving but instead I had feelings of happiness and love. Of course I miss my parents and I always will but I don't miss them any more or any less any day of the year. Oh sure the pain of losing them when they first passed away was overwhelming but as time moved on the hurt healed and I focus on the memories I have of my parents. Instead of feeling sad on Thanksgiving I enjoyed the company of my aunts, uncle, cousins and friends and smiled a few times thinking about how my mom and dad would love that we are all still close even with miles between us. But isn't that the way it should be?


  1. Loved reading your memories. Thank you for sharing. I also miss my folks and the memories are bittersweet.

  2. Such a wonderful stories. I love hearing stories like this of childhood memories.
    Yes families should be close. But so many have to be somewhere else or work gets in the way. But I am always Thankful for the ones that get to show up.
    We had Thanksgiving at my youngest Sisters house this year instead of mine. We had a wonderful time and I got to spend the whole day with both of my boys, DIL's and grandbabies. It was a good day. My Son's got to spend some quality time with their Uncle which was a blessing to me. I am Thankful for the one Uncle they have left.

  3. I loved your story Shirley. We lost our Dad 5 years ago on Nov 11th...strangely my father in law died 5 years prior on the same date. Anyway...Like you said missing him is something I deal with daily...and I admit there are some days the loss can bring me to tears. But for me...the holidays when we all get together are a time of joy and remembering. He so loved his family, the getting together and the traditions. Looking back now I realize it brought back some of the same feelings to him that I get when we are all together! I grew up in a close family.... Who ever lived in Kansas close to grandma's would show up for lunch on Sunday. She had a little 4 room house and sometimes would have 30 to 40 people there!! Many of the weekends it would just be bologna sandwiches and chips but we were together and having fun!! I have some friends...and yes family who prefer to have the quiet love it when the house is full of noise and laughter...for me...thats home

  4. Thanks for sharing your story. We had a health issue with my dd the week before thanksgiving but I still made my turkey with trimmings, trying to keep up the spirit of the holidays. You made me cry today, and it's a good cry, as I remember the good times with my parents and siblings growing up


  5. Thank you for putting it so elegantly. The pics are beautiful.

  6. Thank you. My mom died in April this year. I miss her all the time, but I am rarely "sad" because I keep remembering all the good times we had. I was SO lucky to have her for so long.