I have been meaning since Thanksgiving night to write a bit about the day. Time slipped away, but here I am on a quiet Sunday afternoon a few days later, just now getting 'round to it.
I think that's probably not a bad thing. Serves to cut through some of the swirlier thoughts I'd had that day, and to hone in on what was most worthy of noting.
1. It was the first time I have ever cooked a turkey, or made dressing. Those things were always done by Mama, or Mama and my sister working in concert. Both came out perfectly. This made me feel as though I had found a key to a new universe.
2. It was one of only, perhaps, three Thanksgivings I have ever had apart from my larger family (parents, siblings, and their assorted families). We had received a gracious invitation from my oldest brother and his wife, to come to their home for lunch. Logistics began to press down on me, and on others, and we reluctantly had to decline. What I missed most -- what I knew I would miss most -- were the stories. My God, the stories.
3. My husband, younger son, and I instead went to lunch at the home of my older son and his wife, one which they will only formally be taking possession of this week. It's a grand place, full of fireplaces and storage spaces and room for so many adventures for our granddaughter to have.
4. A longstanding family tradition has been the reading of the 100th Psalm before thanks are returned. This has usually been an honor reserved for the youngest person in attendance who is either able to read or recite it, but exceptions have been made over the years. Wearing the Matriarch Cape, I decided that this year it should be read by the person who is now the head of this branch of the family: my husband. I handed over the battered copy of the King James Version Bible that had been given to me when I was a little girl by my beloved Grandpappy, and Henry began to read.
Standing in that new old home, with its high ceilings and new appliances, I listened to him begin to read as I twisted a dishtowel in my hand with which I had just mopped up a little spill.
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness, come into this presence with singing.
I looked at my sons, young men who have made my husband and me so very proud. They are so handsome, such good men, so much yet for each of them to accomplish and experience, so much promise already fulfilled; so much that lies ahead for them both.
Know ye that the Lord he is God:
it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
I glanced at our daughter-in-law, who has brought into our lives so much beauty and joy and lightness. I looked at our granddaughter, not yet 3 years old, busy playing at eating a sandwich provided earlier, since we were so late coming to table. She was not mindful in the least way that a seismic shift was happening. She only knew her Mama and Daddy, her beloved UncaThomas, and her Pop and GrandMaMama (her new precious name for me) were in this place with her, and all was right with the world.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving
and into His courts with praise:
be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.
And I felt a peace I hadn't felt so completely since our world came off its axis last October.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
and His truth endureth to all generations.