This is the second Thanksgiving I have ever spent away from my Mom. The first was years ago, when Hubby's (then boyfriend) Mom invited me to meet them and spend Thanksgiving with them. That Thanksgiving was full of nervous anticipation. It was also a little weird.
First of all, my in-laws are not from the United States, they are Korean. So the fact that my Mother in Law cooked me a Thanksgiving meal really meant a lot. According to hubby, they never had Thanksgiving dinner. It was a little awkward, as my Korean is subpar, their English is heavily accented, and my future brother in law also brought his girlfriend (whom the parents had never met, also). There were not enough regular chairs, they had to bring out a stool from the garage and an office chair. Also of interest was the addition of Kim Chee, white rice, and pickles to the feast. It was also the first time I had ever had mashed potatoes out of a box (if you discount school lunches). So, first Thanksgiving away was weird, but I really hit it off with my future mother in law.
This Thanksgiving, hubby and I decided to stay home instead of flying to L.A. The last three years we have traveled and it was really, really stressful. The first year because of the dog. The second and third because we had Cookie. There were so many obligations to meet with family and friends that Cookie and us really were stressed. So this year, with two kids, we opted out for the Thanksgiving travel.
We invited some wonderful friends for dinner. They spent last Christmas with us, and we had a great time and so did the kids. I enjoyed being able to cook for them too. Our friends are expecting their third child and the wife had to work until 4:00. So the idea of being able to give them a break was fulfilling. Not to mention that my dinner turned out great. I like to give that credit to my Mom for showing me how it is done after all these years, yes I did learn something.
While we had the traditional Turkey, and stuffing. I strayed a little from my Mom's Thanksgiving meals. I made the Yams and Cranberry Sauce (which I forgot to put out) and I made carrots instead of green bean casserole. I also got to enjoy our friend's tradition of "dirty" rice. The kids had a great time playing, they even ate a little.
But a blog that I really did not mean to be about me turned into that. Really it is about an old friend of mine, whose Sister In Law suffered a horrendous car accident. She has four children and each day is touch and go. And as we enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner and watched the kids play, I realized how lucky I was. My friend's family is suffering one of my worst fears. My first fear is of course losing one of my children. The second is losing my husband or dying myself and leaving my kids without a parent...or worse both of us. After having Cookie, I suffered a little post pardem, besides the slight depression I had horrible fantasies of my husband dying. These fantasies were paralyzing. I think making friends and connections in town finally brought me out of that dark place, but this one family is facing a long and dark road. So as I have been putting together Cookie's Christmas gifts, a thought occurred to me. This mother who is lying in the hospital most likely had been putting together her list for her kids. A list that will not be fulfilled. I can imagine what agony it is for that mother to think that her kids might lose her, to think that forever their Christmas's might be blighted by mommy's injury. I contacted my friend and asked if I could buy the kids some gifts so that they would not wake up Christmas morning without gifts. So that their mom can concentrate on recovery and not her children's Christmas. I know that if it was my children I would want them to have some sort of Christmas, to see Santa at work, to let them know that they are not forgotten. This year I am Thankful for our health and good fortune. I am thankful that I can afford to offer this family something. I am hopeful that mother will recover and be able to embrace her children for Christmas.