Don’t remember when or how it got started, but somewhere along the line, listening to Patsy Cline has always been part of our Thanksgiving morning ritual of getting ready for the T-day meal. Today for the first time in I don’t know how many years…we didn’t.
We won’t be having our turkey day meal here, and we’re not expecting any kids or other family here either. We are going to a meal, so I’m not feeling sorry for us…it’s just different. And without Patsy…it seems to be the end of an era. Oh sure, I could go play some, and pretend it’s kinda the same…but it isn’t and I don’t think I could begin to fool myself. We do have a turkey in the oven, and pies on the counter, and we’ll be eating all the regular stuff…it’ll just be different.
After Mom and Dad died, and we had the kids at home, I decided unilaterally to having our Thanksgiving meal at home every year, and not have to be running all over the place to different places every year. We could go to other places after we had our meal, but we were having a family Thanksgiving at our house. Besides, we got to keep most of the leftovers that way, as well. I did share of course and almost forced others to take them home because I knew if i didn’t we’d be throwing them away in a few days. Don’t like to waste either. While the kids lived at home, Thanksgiving would always be at home. And when they went away to college, they’d always have a thanksgiving to come home to. And for quite a few years after they all graduated from college, they were still close enough to come home for the holiday. That seemed to be even better somehow than when they were all here anyway, to have them coming home.
Then it began, first one, then another moved out of state, and too far away to always get home for both Christmas and Thanksgiving with their jobs and travel time and such. I knew it would come to this some day, and I hated to think about it, but I knew it would come. For a while longer, we continued to try to have our Thanksgiving meal here at home, and invite whoever wanted to join us. Our one daughter still lives close by, but they have in-laws to deal with who also want them to be there for their Thanksgiving meal. So, it gets kind of messed up to have to work around it, and things change. This year, the mother-in-law wanted to have the meal at her house. And, as I said, i knew this change would come some day…so I’m mostly all right with it. except to say that I really miss having our kids with us and having the house full of family and food, and just good feelings.
At some point in those days, I was able to sit back in my chair and reflect on how much it all means to me, and how thankful I am for the blessings we have, and my great wife and children and grandchildren and other family…and I know I’ll still get to do that at Christmas, but I feel that Thanksgiving tradition…is gone now. the absence of Patsy this morning just seemed to accent that.
It also signals to me that it’s time to get on with the rest of our life. These transitions happen to everyone. Knowing they will come doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, but what are you gonna do? You have to, like it or not. I guess maybe just that clear delineation of today is what ‘slaps me in the face’. Makes me wake up to the reality of it.
The thing is, I don’t know if this all sounds maudlin or like I said, whining and feeling sorry for myself. I don’t intend that. I don’t mean it to sound whiney. I’m a little sad, but I know this is one of those necessary transitions of life…and I think, I guess, I’m as ready for it as I’ll ever be. I didn’t try to fight it, by pulling out the Patsy music and making apoint of having it playing as we prepared the turkey this morning. Some years I had to scramble for a tape or CD player and find the music just to keep the tradition going. But I knew where it all was this morning. I had the player and the music right where it needed to be…in case someone asked…
Funny…just as I think about wrapping this up…she comes flying around the corner…and says…we don’t have any Patsy Cline playing. Vicki reminded me that we usually have it going. I smile. I know where it is I tell her. Do you want me to get it out? Yeh!