As a kid my mom was all about Thanksgiving. I remember she’d sing while she cooked. The year following her death I moved Thanksgiving to my house. None of my siblings could bear to be in the family kitchen without her. For fifteen years, we’ve kept it that way.
For various reasons, we moved it back to my father’s house this year. It was odd, but not as hard as I expected. For the first time in fifteen years, I felt my mother there. Memories were constantly flashing me back.
While I was cooking, I pulled out the silverware drawer and it instantly dropped reminding me of the first year my husband spent the holiday with us. We’d put up with that drawer for as long as I could remember. It was just part of the charm of the old house. My mom had asked my father to fix it years earlier, but he pronounced it hopeless. If duct tape, spray paint or epoxy weren’t likely to fix it, it was going to stay broken.
My boyfriend, this fifteen year old kid, who didn’t realize the family dynamics at work, swung underneath and had it repaired in about two minutes. My mom was beyond thrilled and my father was less than pleased that this upstart made him look bad. Apparently his fix lasted about thirty years, but was once again it needed his special touch.
Once again, he swung underneath and took care of it. He and I shared a smile over that one.
After the meal, the family sat together and the stories started. It often happens, but the stories tend to be from recent years. This time the stories were pulled from the way-back machine. They were retelling events from our childhood. Memories long since confined to the dusty shelves of our mind.
It was good to bring it back full circle. Maybe we will invade my father’s home for Christmas as well. Set up a tree and maybe throw some lights on the front of the house. Who knows what Christmas memories will be dredged up.