Friday, November 27, 2009

Used to Be



This is my brother, mother and me in about 1971 on Thanksgiving Day. (The photo was taken by my dad.) That was one year it was just "us." If we could, we usually traveled from Indiana to Tennessee to gather with my dad's people, but some years we gathered with my mom's sister and her 5 kids. Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday. I had less worries about what was going to happen, it just covered a few days instead of being over a couple weeks, and we got to eat amazing food.

When I grew up, I got to host my own Thanksgiving dinners where I would have 50+ family and friends in my home. I loved it. I also loved the years we had Thanksgiving with my husband's extended family. No worries or family drama--just a good time! One year when I was pregnant with Son #1 (he was born in January so I was quite large,) we gathered at my husband's Aunt Gladys' and Uncle George's house in Kokomo. Their house wasn't very big but the usual crowd was there. There were people in every room eating the sumptuous feast.(They were good cooks!) It was great. For entertainment Aunt Lola got out the family films and we watched (thankfully in black and white) as Grandpa Phil Small and his troops killed a hog. (Obviously they were farmers, not some sort of Lord of the Flies family. Sheesh.)

On the Monday following the good time I had a doctor's appointment. He asked me about our plans and was astounded at how many people were there. He asked me if we rented a hall. I had to laugh. Then I told him what kind of family films we had watched. Since he never said too much, I always wondered what he thought. (He had a strange look on his face.) But I was happy and healthy, so I suppose he didn't dwell too long on this patient.

Even in the worst years I would reflect on how thankful I was and I still loved Thanksgiving. It's a peaceful holiday.

This year was the first time that I had to struggle to find just what it is for which I'm thankful. But looking back and finding the pleasant moments was a start. I panicked just two days before because one of my cousins (she was my matron of honor in our wedding) had surgery for brain cancer. She's young, beautiful and doing important things. But even in the midst of thinking that this stinks! there were moments of thankfulness.

So, while I'm thankful for many things, I'm praying like mad for Annette. If you think of me, pray for her. And for that I'm thankful, too--I have people who will pray when I ask them to do so.

7 comments:

Terra said...

Sometimes the little things to be thankful for are the sweetest.
Prayers for your loved one and a healing for her.
"Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." 3 John 2

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Crystal -

Praying for Annette. I hope the surgery went well.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Judy Gann said...

Hi Crystal, I'm praying hard for Annette. Times like this put life and being thankful in perspective.

By the way, your family photo reminds me of many of my childhood Thanksgivings.

Sharon A. Lavy said...

Praying for Annette and also for you Crystal that you can see many more things to be thankful for.

Christine Lindsay said...

The older I get, the more I know it is the small things that give us the greatest blessings. A cup of coffee shared with a friend. When your daughter asked you to go for a 'Christmas' coffee at Starbucks. When you have a cup of tea with your mom. When your loved one gives you a smile. Beautiful posting, Crystal. Happy American Thanksgiving from your Canadian friend who celebrated it in October.

Christa Sterken said...

Crystal, this sounds like the kind of Thanksgivings I have always dreamed of. Ours was very quiet and a bit lonely but still nice. Thanks for sharing about your family, your loved ones and your trials.
Blessings, Christa

Crystal Laine Miller said...

Thanks so much for the prayers and thoughtful comments.

Annette starts chemo/radiation every day for six weeks starting the Monday after Christmas. We could use a miracle, but we serve a God of miracles, don't we?