Thanksgiving in my married life has been very different from my childhood. All my close family lived within an hour from me. Thanksgiving was something we looked forward to, but it was only an afternoon with family. One thing remains the same…pecan pie is still one of favorite Thanksgiving treats.
My husband’s family life was much different. Thanksgiving had always been an event for his extended family. It was a week of being all together and loving it (most of the time). David promised his grandmother that as long as she was alive, he would always be at her house for Thanksgiving and he honored that.
I just celebrated my 12th year with this clan. While we lost Marylou, the matriarch of the family, in April, her traditions and presence were felt throughout the week. All her recipes were used for the Thanksgiving feast. The song that the whole family would sing before the meal was printed on pink paper in her honor. The one thing that was missing, that no one missed, was her tomato aspic. Yeah, I didn’t know what either.
A decision was made for the home, where we all gathered, to be sold before next Thanksgiving and we were encouraged to start our own family traditions. A few years ago, this new tradition idea would have made me happy. Every year seems to get harder traveling with 3 little kids 9 hours in the car and then to be in a strange house. Now, I’m heartbroken that my youngest will not remember Thanksgiving in Virginia and how much his Ma’Mama loved him. And my sweet husband just has memories of his grandmother who was so very important in his life. Part of me is lost because 1/3 of my Thanksgivings have been with this larger than life woman.
In true form of the season, I will end with what I am thankful for and it will be in honor of the one and only Marylou. I am so very thankful that she loved my family and me unconditionally. I’m thankful that all my babies spent time with her and my older two had a special bond. I’m thankful for all the wonderful recipes she shared with me that I will always make for my family. Lastly, I’m thankful that every day we can look around our home and be reminded of her.