Photo: Father/Brother George, Russ, my sister, Judy
"Forever on Thanksgiving Day
the heart will find the pathway home."
Wilbur D. Nesbit
As Thanksgivings go, this one was different. Not bad different, but a little off. Probably because I had nothing to do. I baked pies yesterday and that was my contribution. Over at my sister's house they were busy all day. Like most Thanksgivings since the Pilgrims sat around the open campfire, there was a bounty of food to be grateful for. And like most Thanksgiving everyone over-indulged. But oh, it was all so very good.
Since I wasn't cooking I gave myself holiday hours at home. I got up long enough to feed my father his breakfast then mosied on back to bed. I felt a little guilty, but couldn't find the energy to do much about it. After noon, I pulled myself up and attacked the pile of ironing I'd put off for too long. Sweetie and I watched another Sandra Bullock movie and had a few good laughs before it went all haywire. I cleaned the disc, cussed the machine and gave it a good whack for good measure, and the move started back up. I'm grateful for the sound of my love's laughter.
My sister's house was as full of people as it was of food. My dad didn't waste any time handing out presents. He's been in the "what do you want after I die, well take it now" mode lately. I find it really hard to be around him when he gets like that. I want to scream at him, I want you now, not your stuff later, but that's not going to happen unless I totally lose my cool. I continue to pray for my lip to stay zipped.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, my Dad pulled his newest 9mm something or other out of his walker bag and showed it to my nephew. As if by magic every man in the house (except Sweetie who stayed back and shook his head) drew near to give this special gun the once over. It was promised to Adam, but he can't have it til Dad has gone to the big shooting range in the sky.
Next he calls Daniel over. Daniel was given (to keep now) a rather large and scary looking hunting knife and it's matching whet stone. Again the testosterone in the room surged. I didn't hear one of the girls in the room say ooh or ahh!
I sat off from the crowd and wondered if I was in a movie. Could this really be happening? On this day set aside for giving thanks, my father is handing our instruments of destruction, as casually as he drank his glass of wine. Weird. I swear it was just weird!
I've wondered for a few days now why my father seems so mad at me. He says things that verge on the rude side, if not out and out mean. What have I done I ask myself over and over. Tonight I had a thought - maybe he's mad at me because I seem always to be mad at him. And that I cant deny. Well, always may be extreme, but I bet steam comes out of my ears on a regular basis. Which came first the chicken or the egg? His anger or mine?
All of it makes me sad. And like I told Sweetie this morning, it's not that I am NOT grateful but I've having trouble FEELING grateful. I know I am surrounded by more blessings than I can count. Still I feel kind of sad. Is this grief? Stubbornness? Selfishness?
Deep questions that only a piece of pumpkin cheese cake can help answer.
On this night, when there is so much to be thankful for, especially the fact that even though he is a bit cranky my dad is still alive and king of his castle, I wish for you the knowledge of all that is good in your life topped with a big dollop of whipped cream.
May your hearts be full of love, and joy and peace,