Of Turkey, Pie, and Togetherness

My father used to tell me that Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday. He loved having the family together and enjoyed the noise and the chaos.  When I was younger, I thought he was crazy.

Sure, Thanksgiving was fine. There was the Macy’s parade in the morning, of which we’d suffer through the marching bands to get to the floats and especially the balloons. Keep in mind, this was back before we had over two hundred channels of quality programming to choose from.  We had three, on a good day.

Then, the family would show up, we’d eat turkey and all the fixings, shouting to be heard over each other, and for those of us who craved attention, shouting a bit louder. Dinner would end, people would fall asleep or sit around the table and talk. And then eventually, it would be time for turkey sandwiches and pie.

I should mention the pies. It’s become a thing in my family that the amount of pies my mother and aunt make is staggering. You love strawberry-rhubarb but only eat one piece a year?  Don’t worry, we have a pie for that. We gorge on pie for the next three weeks. It’s a great tradition.

But really, that was it. The parade, eat, go away, eat again, go away. And then, the next day…Christmas started!  Get through Thanksgiving, and then full bore into the silly season.

So yeah, I thought Dad was a little off when I was a kid and he told me that. Later on, as an adult, I understood what he meant. I love Thanksgiving.

It’s different now, of course. Dad is no longer with us, and although I miss him every day, it’s especially so on that day. I’ll look up at that end of the table, where he should be, and see him there. Barb will know. She understands, as do my siblings. We’ll all be a little sad, but we’ll also have a wonderful time, eat a ton of turkey, digest until we can shove in a bunch of pie, and retire well-fed and happy.

Which is the way he would have wanted it.

We miss you, Dad. But Happy Thanksgiving!

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