|11-13-2010, 01:07 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2007
Blue Thanksgiving Nights
I hate Thanksgiving. The whole thing is dumb. No one seems to truly understand the REAL history of the first Thanksgiving...and what followed after the grand feast so many years ago.
Thanksgivings while I was growing up were not always pleasant. Daddy drank heavily, which always ended up badly. Even 23 years later, I still have the urge to pack a bag when the turkey is in the oven...because usually we'd have to leave for the women's shelter that night. Mom would slave herself in the kitchen and Daddy drank in front of the TV, while we girls had our hushed discussions of how to plan the next escape.
Cassie, you got the baby formula packed? Cee, don't forget the pillows. Oh! The keys...keep them in your pocket so Dad doesn't get them...
My job, even as early as 6 years old, was to grab Amy. Cee would get Melinda, and Cassie would try to get Mom out.
We even had a code for it. Blue night.
The table was always so beautiful. Mom had this gorgeous Johnson Brothers dinnerware with silverware she had polished the night before. Mom always outdid herself.
It's funny...for so many years I could only remember the beginnings and the endings of Thanksgiving at our house...the beautiful table and glowing candles...to the cold moonlight glare through the car window as we rushed to save ourselves later that night.
I hated Thanksgiving for so long...I forgot about what happened in the middle.
It's funny how Cassie's death brought back so many memories which were caked with dust for being left for so long.
As you can imagine, dinnertime was tense...but we did have fun. I didn't understand the conversations, since no one signed. All I saw were facial expressions and mouths full of food. Cee would make faces, which always made me laugh. Cassie made finger puppets with the napkins. Amy was so cute, in the high chair. She had dumbo ears like my Daddy, which always made me forgive her even when she threw green beans in my hair. Melinda was so tiny that she had a high chair, too...and she ate more than any of us. We were allowed to eat each pie - and Mom always made pumpkin, pecan, chocolate cream, and a fruit pie of some sort. I still remember the faces of my beautiful family, and I'm so glad I do.
One year Mom stopped cooking Thanksgiving dinners. Cassandra and Chelli had left home, with their own families. Daddy stopped drinking, and we were left with Macy parades on the TV and frozen dinners. The china plates were long gone, and Mom no longer polished silverware. I hated Thanksgiving even more. Occassionally we were able to visit my Granny and Papa with the whole family (by that, I mean a good number of 50-150 people) or we'd have dinner at my favorite aunt's house. But often, Thanksgiving was not talked about. Too many beginnings and endings in the past. I wonder if Mom remembers the "middle" times. Where, for a brief moment, we were truly happy as a family.
Last year, as Thanksgiving was drawing near, Cassie and I talked about getting everyone together - which would be the first time in years we would all be under one roof, sharing a meal. Almost immediately we got the excuses..."oh, it's a long drive..." "I don't know what we will do yet..." We had a long ways to go to plan it, but we were determined to get everyone together.
And few weeks later, we all did get together. But not for Thanksgiving.
I didn't even get to sit with my family at the funeral because the school I worked for wouldn't let me take off to attend the funeral from the start. Ten years, twenty years, thirty years from now...I'll never forgive them for making me late to my sister's service.
I sat in the back with my babies when my Daddy saw me. He got up and walked to the back to sit with me. I told him to stay with my mother. He said, "Your mother has your sisters all around her. I'll stay with you."
More memories of my Daddy came back. More "middles" I had long forgotten. The times he would bring home stuff to make root beer floats. The time he bought fishing poles and fishing hats to take us fishing at the creek. The times he would follow me as I rode the school bus because I wanted to be a big girl, just to make sure the bus got me to school safely.
I can't hate Thanksgiving anymore.
|11-14-2010, 07:28 PM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2009
WOW ! That was really moving! I am really sorry to hear about the lost of your sister. Thank you for sharing this with us. I am glad it helped you to write this, I was told it really does help to write what you're feeling .
I love the way you wrote this!