As Thanksgiving Day approaches, my mind travels back to the time that I lived on Old Trail Rd. with my mother, father, and six siblings. We had everything we needed: each other. ‑The best gift Mom and Dad gave us was each other. “We” are what has lasted. We are the bonding of a family that will forever be together in our hearts. Although it is true that we may only all see each other a few times a year, we carry the love and commitment to each other in our hearts. I know that at any given time of the day or night, that each one of them is as close as the telephone. An added blessing that was not thought about in those early days, is the extension of the family that would come. We are incredibly blessed that the only one who has been lost to us (and then only in physical presence) is Dad. All of us, and all of our children and grandchildren have survived all that life has thrown at us. There were many times that one stood on “the brink” between life and death, and we each, or all together, survived. Sometimes I wonder if we survived because of each other. ‑I wonder if the strong bond of seven is more resistant to life’s travails than one. At any rate, it is a heartfelt belief that gives me peace in thinking about it.
It has been heartening to see that all of our children have bonded in the way that only sisters and brothers usually do. The cousins are like siblings. None of us had big families like Mom and Dad, but we all joined our children and made a big family out of them. It gives me great joy to know that all of them stand by for the other just as we did.
Thanksgiving so many times gets brushed aside, or overlooked, as Halloween is behind and Christmas is looming full force ahead. So, I wanted to take time in this column to remind everyone to be still and reflect on the blessings that are yours. It doesn’t matter if you have much in the way of material things. Things don’t matter. Dad always told us that, but it took growing into adulthood to realize that things really don’t matter. What matters is the love and support that families give to each other. What matters are the friendships that we have forged through the years. The old tried and true friendships that are forever waxing and waning. My brother once told me, after a long estrangement with his best friend, and then a reuniting, that ‑”the paths of good friends cross many times in a lifetime.” This is true as I look back and realize that years in-between don’t make any difference in the united love of friends, and family. Believe in yourselves, and in your loved ones. Make amends to those who are distant if things have gone awry.
Have a beautiful blessed Thanksgiving Day. The years go quickly by.
Loving you all, Mae