Remember the Cook this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving crept up on me this year. I think it’s because I don’t shop as much and didn’t see the Christmas displays to remind me of the upcoming holidays. Fortunately, I haven’t missed it.

Like most holidays, Thanksgiving has lost most of its original meaning. For most people, it’s just a day for feasting. It’s the one day of the year that the cook really shines. For someone who’s diet is restricted to cream of wheat and water, that leaves me out.

But the Thanksgivings of my past were glorious. My mother always insisted on cooking everything herself, even when she had six children and fourteen grandchildren coming to dinner…I think especially when she had so many coming to dinner. She let me do the desserts only, and to this day, that’s about all I can cook well.

By the time everything was on the table, she was too exhausted to eat, but she was happy as everyone trooped in to hit the tables like a flock of locust. It left me wondering why she did it.

Years later I found this same phenomenon in my mother-in-law. Robert and I begged to be allowed to bring something to help out, or…an even more scandalous suggestion…go out to a restaurant. She was getting fragile and the job of cooking would take two days at least. She insisted and by the time of the meal, was ready to drop.

I finally realize that these mothers and grandmothers simply enjoy cooking for their whole family, and Thanksgiving is a perfect excuse. It’s about the only time they can show their love and get credit for it. The other 364 days we just take them for granted.

My mother and mother-in-law are gone now, and I miss them especially at holidays. I wish we could have just one more Thanksgiving with them…or any day…to tell them how much they meant to us every day of the year.

But I thank God for the times I’ve had and the love of family, and thanking God is one part of Thanksgiving you can participate in even on a restricted diet.

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