It seems everything I see or hear reminds me of a Bible scripture or a song. This morning was no different.
We were happy and smiling when we saw our daughter-in-law, Camilla, had sent us videos of our great-grandchildren playing. We watched the little twin boys trying to do everything their slightly older cousin was doing. Our first little great-granddaughter, who we haven't even met yet, was playing in the sand and watching the boys. They were all giggling and having such fun.
I turned away to hide the tears that were trying to sneak out. The children were just so precious, and I wanted to hug them! When I looked back, I noticed David wiping his eyes. I thought of the song, "A little bitty tear let me down." It got us both.
Our oldest son, Daniel, his wife, Camilla, and their three married children all live in Tennessee. They have been trying to come and see us, or have us come to Tennessee for a spell, but COVID-19 has kept us apart.
Everyone had planned to come to Missouri for Thanksgiving, but since our granddaughter, Kirsten, is a registered nurse and is exposed to the disease every day, they didn't want to bring it to all their Missouri family.
That morning, we were both feeling so emotional, and this tipped the scale. We had heard of too many people we know having health issues and more.
We'd just seen on the news that a local couple, the Conners, who had been married 67 years, had just died a couple days apart.
Then came the news a friend David had worked with for years, Mangus Moore, had his deer stand fall from the tree, with him in it. He is in the hospital.
Another friend we have shared many good times with over the years, Mary Belle Streit, was put on a ventilator. We prayed for everyone, then we went to our computers. So we were already in an emotional state of mind when we saw the video.
Our son, Randy, and our daughter in law, Christine, are both good cooks and will probably enjoy a nice meal this Thanksgiving.
This year, our youngest son, Eric, and Brandon have invited us to their home for Thanksgiving as they have in the past. They had COVID-19 a couple weeks ago but have recovered. As the virus news has gotten worse, we talked about it and decided we better stay home this year. On their jobs they, too, are often exposed.
There seems to be a war on the family unit, and it looks like the evil one is hard at work. This virus is keeping families apart, but it is only one of his schemes.
Yes, this year Thanksgiving Day will be different. This awful virus has affected us all in some way. However, we must dry those sneaky little tears, overcome our emotions and remember this is a day set specially aside, (other than the thanks we should be giving everyday) to give thanks for all the blessings God is giving us everyday.
Thanksgivings with family brings many good memories. Some brings a smile and others a sentimental tear.
I try to not remember this in a sad way, but it is extremely hard. Mom and Dad wanted to make the Thanksgiving dinner. We didn't know then it would be the last for each of them. I can picture mom on her last Thanksgiving Day setting at the kitchen table and pulling apart bread to make stuffing for the turkey. She was so tired and weak, and I told her I would do it. She said, "I know, but Daddy likes my dressing."
Also, Mom and I liked the turkey wing. I always left it for her. It is hard for me to eat the wing now for the lump in my throat knowing she is gone. I will try to remember and cherish the good and fun times we shared at Thanksgiving. The way Mom would chase down and catch a turkey from her barnyard to have for dinner and all the other things she done that made us laugh. I always wondered how she could butcher her turkey, as she had all her little zoo of fowl and animals named. Being brought up during harder times, I think she was determined to have a really great Thanksgiving meal for everyone.
Yes, those meals were a bit different when we were children. The turkey was farm-raised, cleaned by the family and slow-baked in our kitchen wood stove. Surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, we would make a wish and pull apart the wish bone.
I remember everything as tasting better. David and I were talking about the pumpkin pie and whipped cream, among other dishes for the meal.
Pumpkin pie and whip cream used to be my favorite. Now, I don't enjoy it as much. In talking, I realized, it was the home-grown pumpkin and good thick whipped cream from our own cows that made the difference. No more plastic-packaged whipped creams on my pies!
And those homemade buns! You really need good butter to make them taste right. I make bread, and I do not like to give any away without giving the butter, too. I don't want my efforts ruined by "make-believe butter."
We are so blessed and have so much to be thankful for here in this land and time of plenty. The folks, like our parents, who were brought up during the Great Depression, understood fully.
Nowadays, we think it is a crisis if someone forgot the whip cream for the pumpkin pie.
Every family has traditions. My mom always bought cranberry jellied sauce. Now, our son, Eric, always wants and buys "that kind his grandma had" with the can lines. David's mom always bought the whole cranberry kind.
That's the kind I get, in her memory.
Instead of a turkey this year, I will probably bake the two Cornish hens Daniel and Camilla sent us with dressing and the regular fixings. I haven't decided yet.
Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone. And if a sneaky sentimental tear sneaks out, David says, honest, loving emotions, are from God. It's OK.
When we ask the blessing and give thanks, let's really think about it and understand just how much we truly have really been blessed.