Giving Thanks and Longing for Eden

There was no turkey. The dressing wasn’t Mamaw Shirley’s, and the pecan pie wasn’t Uncle Matt’s. There were only four of us.

We decorated our table with our abundance. Lemons from a friend, a pineapple from another, flowers from our garden, a candle and autumn leaves from America. 

The children talked about how much our house smelled “like Mamaw Shirley’s house,” because “she always cooks like this.” 

We were all fine until we sat down to eat our Thanksgiving meal.

We talked of holidays past and of family that we miss. We told stories. We laughed and cried. We wrote our gratitude on the wall. We lamented our losses. We spoke of the future table where we will be reunited with those we’ve loved and lost. 

We feasted.

I don’t know if this is how Thanksgiving ought to be. There was no mention of Pilgrims or Indians, to be honest. We didn’t even speak of America, only of those who live there. There was no history lesson, unless you consider old family stories to be history. I do. For us, in this place, that is the only history that matters on some days. 

We are a broken family in many ways. Our losses seem to pile up and very often threaten to bury us. The work continues, but we are alone, and on days like this, it is easy to feel forsaken. 

We feasted anyway. In this already-not-yet place of longing, we broke bread and laughed and cried. 

The boys played football while the food cooked.

Thankful for these two
Cream cheese icing…
Enjoying some much deserved rest
Learning how to make dressing
Flowers from our garden
Autumn leaves from America
A feast!
Carrot cake perfection
Olivia set a beautiful table.

Writing our gratitude
Getting ready to enjoy a feast

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