©Musings by Patricia Feager, 11/23/2016
Regardless of where you go or if you don't go anywhere at all, the days before, on and after Thanksgiving Day are emotional days for all. We think about the ones we love or loved, the ones who are still in our life and those who are not, and we think and wonder about the people who once played an important role in our life but are no longer there. And we sometimes wonder, whatever happened to them?
Like many people, I have fond memories of my mother's dining room table. It was the day we cleaned every nook and cranny. Some kids had baseboard duty; others polishing the silver, there was vacuuming, dusting, cooking, and cleaning. It was my father's job to clean the chandelier, take out the garbage, so the dog wouldn't get inside while mom was cooking, and their job to pull the table apart to add the additional pieces to extend the size of the table.
When the guests arrived, they included grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, some of their in-laws, cousins, and as my older sisters got married, we added chairs for my brother-in-laws and my parent's grandchildren. Guests were served first. Our family was the last ones to sit down and if there weren't enough chairs, we waited our turn or found a spot and sat down to eat later. There was no T.V. and the rooms were filled with good conversation and our dog got lots of attention.
My mother's dining room table and the house I was raised in no longer exists. Many people have passed away. I'm well acquainted with nevermore. The dining room in this photograph isn't mine, so I borrowed one. The photo was taken at the DeGoya House at the Dallas Arboretum I visited a few days ago, and I added words to the photograph. If you are lucky enough to have Thanksgiving Dinner with family, give thanks because you have something others may not have. Be gentle and kind with the people who are driving on the roads - you never know what the driver is thinking. If you could avoid T.V. for one day, practice speaking to each other. Now is the time to get to know more about each other. There is nothing more painful to me than for relatives to say, "I never knew that about ________."
Stay away from discussing anything controversial, such as politics. Accept each other for who they are. Pay no attention to the person who may have hair color they weren't born with or tattoos that suddenly appeared, forget about what people are wearing, don't worry so much about the baseboards or if there are enough chairs. Listen to each other and give thanks while you can. Remember those who no longer exist, or some you don't know who are struggling with some type of physical, emotional, or financial pain of their own. Be sensitive. Be kind. Be gentle. Ask for life's blessings without a curse.