Wednesday, November 25, 2009

gathering tales

It seems that Thanksgiving gatherings are traditional for most families but not for mine. Even though our Thanksgiving Day is spent with family, which is tradition, our holiday plan differs from one year to the next. My parents, brother, and I have always lived a distance from the rest of the family and being married hasn’t changed circumstances bc dh’s family lives in Canada (not to mention their Thanksgiving is in October-anyhoo). My FIL, however, does live nearby.

As a young child we always spent TG with my mom’s side of the family and those holidays, Christmas and Thanksgiving, are some of my first. They are my favorite keepsakes of the heart. The family was bustling with laughter and joy, bad jokes, with a little drama mixed in. Kids running around. Cookies and decorations on the tables and name tags labeling plates. Those were some of the best times of my life and a yearly occurrence.

Since those times every year our TG gatherings changed. Last year we had the addition of our family-friend join us. The year prior my BIL and his (now) fiancé and FIL joined my family (or was that Christmas?), or was that just my FIL? See how jumbled up our holidays can get. The year prior to that one was our last TG spent with my late-MIL, Barbara, who passed away the year after of cancer. My family and in-laws spent TG at their house. It was a memorable Thanksgiving because it was our last with her – a cherished treasure for me.

[Grandma and Grandpa meeting Cameron for the first time. Cameron was 3-4 months old.]

And again, this TG will be different. My parents and I haven’t traveled to be with family in quite sometime and this year we’re leaving home to spend it with my Grandparents and Uncle Jimmy in Arkansas. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to the visit, but at the same time it will be a bit sad. My Grandmother has recently been diagnosed with dementia. Physically her health has been declining for quite sometime, but now her mind is failing her. The boys and I want to visit with her while she still knows us and can enjoy us and we can enjoy her. Her birthday also happens to be the same week as TG so it’s an extra special treat for her to have us all there. My dad told me that he asked Grandma what she wanted for her birthday and she said “All of you!” Well, she’s going to get her wish and I’m happy to be apart of that gift. It’s been awhile since we’ve all filled her home.

[Play video – 10 seconds] Grandma used to do this little ditty to us when we were kids. I think it’s a southern thing but what I do know for sure is that it’s a tradition for her tickle a baby this way. ;-)

My mother has organized a TG dinner by having a local store cook an entire turkey feast with all the fixins’ and we’ll pick it up when we arrive. The easy part is no one has to cook or clean up which makes for more family time. The way I see it is none of us are wasting time. This could very well be her last birthday and her last Thanksgiving. I want to savor that memory forever and I want Grandma to carry it in her heart forever as well. This will be one gathering tale I’ll never forget…Thanks for listening to the tales. Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings to all! We're off on our Thanksgiving travels. Talk soon!

PS. I do like Blogger’s scheduled post option, don’t you? :-)


pturner507 said...

Well, I had just myself all dressed, hair fixed, and make-up on and then I read this, and now I'm crying. Oh, my!! I am so looking forward to this little trip. I love you.

kimstitch3 said...

I hope you have a safe and wonderful trip Julie and family. I'm excited for you both. I work at an assisted living and alzheimers/dementia is tough on families. enjoy these special moments. Take care and God Bless you all,KImberly

mainely stitching said...

ENJOY this special time with your grandma!!!!!!

Siobhan said...

Awww, what a special Thanksgiving it must be for you, Julie. Big hugs. Safe travels.

Anonymous said...

Julie, this is your was really nice to have you and your boys visit Grandma and Grandpa for Thanksgiving this year. I think Uncle Jim loved every moment we were there. To me, traditions are all about the family involved and not just the destination.

Natasha said...

OMG!! MY Aunt does the same thing to all the kids in our family LOL They just LOVE it kaugh like crazy when she does it :)