while wrestling with recall, it turns out what should have been the worst day turned out not so bad–a terrible time, a moment of grace

Cathartic Thanksgiving Day

My worst Thanksgiving ever. Hmm, I can’t recall. Not that Thanksgivings were always grand. But they tended to be good. The years my mom was dying from cancer. I can’t imagine those Thanksgivings were good. I was trying to visit her in the hospital each day or taking care of her when home, trying to take care of the house, trying to work a job across the city.

But I think for the holidays my siblings came to town, and I had a holiday of sorts unto myself. I didn’t cook or do much of anything except sit still. And Thanksgiving Day was peaceful. Same thing at Christmas.

I probably felt tired and numb at heart. The constant pace of covering everything increasingly took its toll by coring out my spirit of enthusiasm, which I then learned to manufacture. I felt bound to provide for my mother and others, though more and more I felt little else. But it seems that in my memory of mind (though I wouldn’t trust myself to be my own life’s reliable narrator), I can recall the long table in the dining room space, all around the table the folk that I’m related to. Lots of containers filled with many things, turkey in the center, carved. Glasses we could make sing by rubbing fingers around the rim, which always bothered someone (I can’t recall whom). A hum of conversation with a layer of laughter on the top, like whipped topping on the pie. (Always more than one actual pie.)

A good day in a miasma of sad and difficult time. An anodyne. Better yet, a day of grace.

There would have been two such Thanksgiving days while my mom was sick. The third year I think maybe there was little celebrate or nothing at all. And within a year or so, I moved out, as everyone had gone before over several years’ time. Leaving my dad who later left on his own, too.

C L Couch

image from http://www.kutkupret.com and Google Images

not dissimilar from our actual table; even the chandelier looks right, though our walls were white

now off to make a turkey sandwich

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