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Ruth’s Memoir Monday: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2006
Thanksgiving 2006

Growing up, we traveled deep into the hills of the Ozarks in Arkansas for Thanksgiving dinner with my grandparents.  We used to sing, “Through the river and over the hills to Grandma’s house we go,” since we actually drove through a creek and traversed over mountains to get to our Thanksgiving feast.

This year, my parents, brother, and his wife made the journey without me.  They didn’t make the entire journey, either.  It was stopped short — no going through creeks or into the mountains for them.  Instead, they went to the hospital where my grandma is staying.  She is not doing well.

With a phone call from my brother on Thanksgiving day, I was flooded with how different this visit is than all the previous ones.  Then I was reminded of Thanksgiving 2006, as Grandma oversaw the preparations of the meal from her wheelchair, where she was confined after a stroke.

It is these images — remembering a strong, vibrant woman prepare a massive feast single handed, to becoming a mere overseer of the preparations, to being fed through a feeding tube on Thanksgiving Day — that are haunting me this season.  I know it is part of growing up and the circle of life and all of that; however, it doesn’t make it any less sad as we are living it.

Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

4 thoughts on “Ruth’s Memoir Monday: Thanksgiving Leave a comment

  1. Your Thanksgiving memoir shows us how this genre of writing can touch the souls of others. I hope the memories of more happy gatherings your family has experienced can carry you through this difficult time.
    This past Thanksgiving my family gathered again, but my father, who has experienced strokes, is slipping further away from us. It is hard.
    I am grateful we can use words and our writing to help us through.


  2. The six years I spent living and working in the US underlined for me how important Thankgiving is for American families. Any occasion centered around the gathering together of family brings with it memories of past occasions. Those memories warm and sustain us. May those memories emerge for you Stacey as you confront the passage of time. .


  3. My grandfather passed away on Thanksgiving Day when I was 12 years old. I can relate to how this holiday feels hard when someone so close to you is sick. I hope she hangs in there… I know how important she is to you!


  4. I lost my grandfather last year, and this was our first Thanksgiving without him clamoring for more green beans or exclaiming that my mom’s turkey was the best ever. My grandmother (his widow) was not well, and chose to stay home with my uncle, so we missed her contribution of pumpkin pie at our big family gathering. I am with you—the circle of life, growing up, etc. comments certainly do not make it easier. It still hurts.

    Blessings to your family this season.


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