Family angst at Thanksgiving? It happens but so does its resolution. From “Notes To Stephanie: Middle Aged Love Letters And Life Stories”.
A true Thanksgiving awaits us it seems my dear. And it is about time. After the deluge of fiery familial angst that engulfed our new life together last year it will be a victory of sorts to get everyone in our clan together for some fun and companionship. Hopefully no one will show anger or ill-will that day. Maybe they will all get stuffed with food and some wine they will be too mellow to fuss in any sort of way.
It will be interesting to see how everyone interacts won’t it? Your kids and my mom, my sister’s bunch and your kids, and whatever other dynamics show themselves during the feast we plan and its sleepy from too much food aftermath. The menu of personalities will be as varied as the menu of food that will appear on the table I predict.
So I hope no one leaves with real or emotional indigestion. I truly want to believe that everyone will get along and maybe even like each other. Perhaps this event longed for is something planted in my being by the relics of the memories of the Thanksgivings I have described to you from my childhood. Maybe those gatherings had tense moments and I was just too young to see or understand what was going on. Even if that is true, the Norman Rockwell like recollections I have of those times are still very vivid in my mind. They are from times I do hold dear and will never forget even though the details of them now fade across the dim view of the decades since then.
Maybe that is how it should be, sometimes we need memories like that to anchor us, to tell us who we are, and where we came from. These views, almost now like dreams, filled by visions of grand-parents, cousins, and other relatives are part of the past but make me feel certain things about the present: a hoped for future that is something like that old era. While those times are now long gone and many of those people are now dead, buried tens of years ago in a little cemetery seldom now seen, their love, or at least my perception of it, still lingers in my own life even now.
So I am thankful for both the times long ago that were spent with my family celebrating Thanksgiving and also for the fact that we will gather our new, blended clan together as one for the first time this Turkey Day. If we are lucky, our home will be filled with new found familial warmth on a day that is supposed to be very cold. And thus we will paint our own picture of a family together at Thanksgiving that our four children will remember and cherish when they are much older and are thinking back across the long years of their own lives.
Jeff To Stephanie November 19, 2007