But on Thanksgiving morning as I prepared to prepare the meal, I thought about what was different this year. Dad is no longer with us and Mom resides in a nursing home, rather oblivious to what day of the week it is even after you've told her several times. Thanksgiving has no real meaning for her anymore. But oh it used to. I remember those delicious aromas wafting through her kitchen as she prepared the stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, squash and various other veggies, along with our turkey. Mom in her apron overseeing the feast, fussing over the burners trying to time it right.
And then it was my turn to oversee the feast for my own family. Three little kids sniffing the air waiting for the turkey to turn golden brown. I sat them all at the table where they displayed their best holiday manners. Our whole family sitting down at the table together for an entire meal! Priceless!
But this year, on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, Laura and Ben came driving into the driveway, followed five minutes later by Alex. All three of my grown-up kids home for Thanksgiving. No longer do they bound down the stairs as I call them to the table. No, it's quite different now. They sleep late. Sleep is more precious, more important now than food.
But eventually that turkey aroma is too powerful, too tempting to keep them in their beds. They came to the table, bringing their appetites with them.
And we all sat together at the dining room table as a family and ate our Thanksgiving dinner.
Yes, it's different now, but in many ways, it's the same.