As It Should Have Been
The thrill of waking, to lie there with anticipation- thinking of all the family, of reuniting. Remembering times past, other holidays laced with laughter and belonging. To hold the images and feelings close as you turn over, their gentle touch to lull you back to sleep. Morning to find you rested.
Jumping out of bed at the first loving summons, "rise and shine, sweetie, its Thanksgiving!"
Scrambling about in your excitement, smiling because you can. This is "family day." One where Great Aunt so and so, you can't even remember her name, will hug you tight while you make faces at your cousins, it is part of the tradition to have your breath squeezed from you in love. You joke, but still you stand close until she sees you, waiting your turn. You like being noticed, what kid doesn't here!
Anxious to see Uncle what's his name, who regales the family with his "life stories." Ones you are sure are embellished beyond possibility, but you believe them in your childish heart, storing them away for when you play make believe later, fighting to be him in the game.
You and your family to pile into the car, full of haste and craziness, last minute grabbings, giggling and talking coming out at once so that you but giggle more in the not making sense. As you ride there the aroma of your "donation" to the feast wafts around you. Causing you to sit back, eyes closed, as you and your brothers talk of all the "good food at grandmas."
"We're almost there!" to draw your eyes to the window, face pressed tight, as you scan the countryside... looking for grandma and grandpa's castle. This place is a castle to you, for you hold court here, from the moment you enter. You are seen, loved and wanted, you are "grandma's special princess." "Princes' and princess' all around," as she says every year when it is her turn to name what she is thankful for. The impatient child within, squirming in her youngness, wonders at this "thanking game" played year after year. "Don't the grownups know any other games?" Yet there is a part of her that waits in anticipation to hear these "rote words." from her granny. She is unaware why, but someday she will understand, when she can pull them from her closet of love within, just one of many memories to cherish. Granny knows this that is why she says it year after year. Her patiently imprinting this truth to me, all of her grandkids, you are loved of me, that's what grandma's are for.
Then the feast begins, you to stuff yourself full to bursting. Everyone does even though they say they won't. Who can resist, who would want to! So you dig in, trying auntie's stuffing, great cousin's yams, grandma's pie, your own mama's cookies and so much more.
Little to realize what you are really "being stuffed" with, what all this "getting together" is really about. It is about family, connections, and bridges. It is a reuniting of loved ones that you learn love is stronger than distance or life. So you will remember you are theirs, for always, no matter how your paths may diverge. They are giving you memories to carry you through the "rough spots,” a foundation for you to build upon someday when you have a family. They are giving you love and acceptance that you might see yourself as worthy of such. In the end the greatest gift being given is your getting to be the child.
So, Abba, goes my heart this Thanksgiving morning. A story created to ease the loneliness, calm the emotions and settle the heart. All that I might accept and live in my truth of this day, in my memories of holidays past.
I rise from my bed at Your first loving summons. Look forward to feasting with you. I don't usually let myself go to church this early, but today is an exception, that is what makes holidays special, they are different. I will start my own "secret holiday tradition" with You. I will steal away to be with You, we shall sit together and watch the sunrise as it comes through the stained glass window. I will feast my eyes on the gift, as my spirit is fed on You. I will hear Your voice to my heart, "I am thankful for you, my daughter," I will wrap my emotions around the truth of Your Word and Presence.
I will celebrate this Thanksgiving in Your love. Past released, as I am present in You. Bring me to Your castle Daddy.
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