This is our first thanksgiving without mom. Well, the first Thanksgiving without her physically here. Over her nine years living with dementia, there was always a new type of loss every year. I remember the first year we didn’t have any gravy because there was no recipe, it was just something Mom made by sight and taste each year. The last year she tried to make it was in 2011 and she burnt it. That year I wrote:
“But then I realized, who the heck cares if we don't have gravy? We have each other and we have another Thanksgiving with Mom. I will take that over gravy any day.”
Thanksgiving was always my mom’s holiday. She was an amazing cook and since Thanksgiving is really all about the food, this was her day. No one could make turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and sweet potatoes like my mom. I don’t now how I will do this year without my family (now that we live across the country) and without my mom.
If you are missing a loved this year, maybe this prayer will help you:
Spirit of Love,
As we set the table of gratitude this day,
we set one less place this year.
As we hold hands in thanksgiving,
we know one set of hands is missing.
As we laugh and smile on the outside,
there is a sadness on the inside.
In the midst of this great loss,
we are reminded of the great love that is still present,
for death does not take away the love we share.
We see our loved on in the table we set,
in the food we eat made from recipes they passed down to us,
and in the stories we tell.
So we come to this Thanksgiving Day in gratitude.
Gratitude for the time we did have together;
gratitude for the lessons our loved one taught us which we carry on each day;
and gratitude for the ability to love so deeply, even if it comes with loss so profound.
We come to this day in thanks:
Thanks for you who loved each one of us,
who helped guide us through life,
and who challenged us, and cared for us.
You will always have a place at this table.
May we celebrate this day as you would have wanted us to-