While at the local grocery store recently, the girl checking me out and the girl bagging my groceries were discussing the upcoming holiday; Thanksgiving Day. The bagger mentioned that at her college, there are lots of students from another country and how strange that they have no plans, traditions or understanding of the upcoming day.
It took me back to a Thursday afternoon when I was about 12 years old. I was anticipating my dad coming home from work to take my brother and me to mutual that evening. My mom was fixing dinner and was teary eyed (and a little cranky). She mentioned through her tears something about her family 'back home being all together today.'
I remember distinctly standing in our back garden that 'Indian Summer' type afternoon playing with my brothers. Looking towards the house, feeling glad I was outside and my mother was inside fixing dinner, I suddenly remembered, Oh, it is that Thursday that makes my mom cry. That's why she's fixing a 'Sunday dinner' on a Thursday!!!
I can remember that like it was yesterday.
I had absolutely no reference point for what my mother was missing.
Now I do.
I love Thanksgiving.
Though I didn't 'celebrate' or 'participate' in my first Thanksgiving until I was fourteen years old, I love, appreciate and treasure the holiday.
I now have an understanding as to why my mother used to cry on 'that Thursday.'