Every year it seems Thanksgiving becomes more meaningful for me. I recognize with each passing Thanksgiving, that next year most certainly won't be the same. Which family members will still be with us to celebrate in 2008? And who will have joined our clan, by marriage, by birth or otherwise? Daddy has been gone almost 4 years now, and while I miss him terribly, I have wonderful memories that I'm very grateful for. I'm grateful that my youngest son found such a wonderful young woman to love - and that this year she became my daughter-in-law. I'm proud of all our children and their accomplishments, and thankful that they have all chosen to build their lives nearby so that we can see them and our beautiful grandkids often. Maybe more than anything else I can think of, I'm grateful that my Mom has been given her life back. She suffered with a debilitating bout of depression/anxiety after my Dad died and frankly, we found it hard to believe she could ever live on her own again. But thanks to my sister and her family for taking Mom into their loving home, and thanks to a wonderful Doctor who had the patience and skill to devise the treatment that would best help Mother, she has lived on her own for nearly 2 years now. She even works a few hours a week as a volunteer "Grandma"! And, most of all, thank the Lord for answering the prayers by providing all that she needed to reach this level of independence again.
I look forward to Thanksgiving for the opportunity to be with family and friends and undoubtedly to enjoy the fabulous foods of the season as well. I've started creating the fare I will take to the annual family Thanksgiving reunion tomorrow. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends gather at a local church and feast on the many wonderful dishes and partake of friendly chatter as we catch up one each other's lives. My standard dishes - deviled eggs and crunchy coleslaw will be on the menu, as well as a recipe I first tried last year. Pumpkin Cranberry Bread - and it is not only delicious but eye-catching with the red of the cranberries, the orangy-brown from the pumpkin and the nuts sprinkled throughout. And I wonder if Fallan will make her wonderful, artsy, apple pie again...Mmmmm...I can hardly wait!