Walking into my friend’s kitchen tonight, I was welcomed by a picture of myself, my mother, and my friend, hanging right there on her fridge. It was from last year’s Thanksgiving. It was a moment captured in time, and a time to be cherished. At first, I was startled by the closeness, and how difficult the history was to swallow. Compared to all the turkey and sides I had digested today, this one went down a little slower and heavier. I had no idea that when this picture was taken,that it would be our last Thanksgiving together.
But the reality is that I’ve felt her by my side all day. My mom – my best friend – has never left me. As my son and I set the tables, and laid out the treats, I felt her. When I hurried to throw my hair up just before family arrived, I felt her. Especially when I took the carving knife to the turkey, for only the second time of my life, I felt her. I heard her even, telling me just how to slice. Her life was just a small slice of time really. But her presence never leaves, and for that I am grateful.
One of my favorite memories is that of a couple of years ago, and the last time my mother hosted Thanksgiving. She gathered us all around the table, and just after the blessing, she asked that we all speak about something for which we were grateful. I remember, in that moment, feeling pure happiness. While my mom had never been a very open person, this was a step in that direction for her. I had a proud daughter moment, and with our glances, she knew that my smile was just for her.
So today, amidst all the turkey and ham, the rolls and potatoes, the sweet potato casserole and green beans, I am thankful for you, mom. Because of you, I have life. Because of you, I know love. For the lessons you shared, the moments we made, and the kindness you were. I thank you.