In yesterday's post, "Forty Three Reasons That I Am THANKFUL;" I wrote "Thanksgiving is my very, FAVORITE holiday. It always has been, and if you tune in again tomorrow; I promise that you'll find out one of the biggest reasons why..." So today is the tomorrow that I was referring to; and first and foremost; HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!
When I was a kid, I LIVED for Thanksgiving. I remember Richie Howell taking me to the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade a number of times; and coming home to our house, that was filled with the delectable scents of the feast that my mom had been cooking since very early in the morning. My mom was an excellent cook and Thanksgiving dinner was the jewel in her crown. My mom would serve 3 course meals on a nightly basis; (I don't know how she managed it;) and on Thanksgiving she would prepare a spread that was beyond compare. My mom would make her own stuffing, from scratch, candied sweet potatoes and candied carrots, Turkey, of course; mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and if that wasn't enough, she made homemade stuffed cabbage as an appetizer. The stuffed cabbage itself could have been the meal; but it was just her way of showing us how special we were to her. I have enjoyed many Thanksgiving meals since my mom passed away in 1986; but I can honestly say that I've never had one as perfect as my mom's.
I ALWAYS treasured Thanksgiving. I'd wake up early to watch the parade on the years that Richie Howell didn't take us. I adored the aromas that would permeate our house, from our Thanksgiving fare. And I savored every minute with my Nana, and Papa, as all too often they were our only Thanksgiving guests.
Since Thanksgiving had always been so special to me; once my mom passed away, it became my most difficult holiday. I would typically be invited to spend the day with a friend and her family, and even though I was happy to have somewhere to go; I always felt very alone; because I wasn't with MY family. Which is why in 1993, I asked my friend Stacy if she wanted to go on vacation with me, during the Thanksgiving holiday. Now, I can't give you ALL of the details, since they're contained in my "Glamour magazine" essay contest submission; BUT, I can tell you this... Thanksgiving 1993 fell on November 25, just like it did this year. AND on Thanksgiving day, 1993; I met and fell in love (at first sight,) with my husband, Luis. Talk about having something to be thankful for!!
Today is the 17th anniversary of when Luis and I met; and I could not be more grateful. I went to Puerto Vallarta for vacation, in order to avoid how terrible I'd felt on Thanksgiving, after losing my mom; and I wound up finding the cure for what ailed me. No, of course Luis couldn't replace my mom; but within a few short months we were married, we became a family, and we started our own traditions. I had been to Vallarta three times before I ever met Luis, and I don't think that it was a coincidence that I met him when I needed him most. Once again, I had a reason to rejoice at Thanksgiving; and each year I have something EXTRA special to be thankful for.