THANKSGIVING 2010Collaboration by Phyllis Smith, Elaine Olund-Smith, Avery Smith.Welcome all, each in their placeThis year, The Professor is not saying grace.Tis Thanksgiving twenty-tenOctober gone, November again.Days are wet, gray and coldBlack Friday looms – exciting, bold.But, first, join hands with loved ones near.Share the traditions we all hold dear.Give thanks, give thanks, to be here, at last.Family, feasting, food and funLooking back on the year that’s passedFrom the very first bites – til’ the turkey is doneHappy Thanksgiving, everyone!
We did something a bit different for Thanksgiving this year; my mother-in-law had written a short Thanksgiving poem and posted it on her Facebook page. The Professor thought it would be nice if everyone sitting at our table could read one line, the next person, the following line until everyone around the table had participated in a prayer of thanks. There is something remarkable about hearing the voices of those you love, speak words which create a collective whole. Lydia hand-crafted placards for each person, then wrote the line they would read on the back of their card and placed them in order around the table. I started, then Elaine, Jon, Cheryl, Martine, Jane, Dad, Mom, Randy, Avery, Lydia, Taylor with The Professor reading the final sentence – a wonderful shared experience and for me, quite moving. I think we have a new tradition!
Many years ago . . . in a land far away . . . in another lifetime in fact . . . I was the single mom of two sons. So holidays were almost always spent at my parents’ home where we would gather for the meal: Christmas, Easter, Birthdays and Thanksgiving. One year at Thanksgiving my mother asked my then 8-year-old son to read a prayer that was printed in a book that her church had published; there we were, standing in a circle – Mom, Dad, my younger sister, me and my two sons . . . heads bowed, eyes closed, arms still – a very quiet and somber moment. I don’t remember the whole prayer but I do remember a particular line which was supposed to read, ‘Bless the bread winners of the family’ but my son read it as ‘Bless the bread whiners of the family’. . . only a nano-second passed before the snorting and full-on belly laughter erupted and it was all downhill. I don’t think we ever got the entire prayer read. And every single Thanksgiving since then, when I am preparing my spirit to say a prayer of gratitude, I am transported to that day – and the blond-haired, blue-eyed, 8-year-old little boy giving it his all to lead us in a moment of worship and thanksgiving. And I laugh. And I am happy. And I am thankful for that moment. And I am very, very thankful for that boy and his brother.