“Come Ye Thankful People Come, Raise the Song of Harvest Home”
My mother taught us poems to pass the time on long car trips. She was a grade school teacher back in the day when memorizing poetry was part of the everyday public school curriculum. One of the poems she taught us I still post on the wall wherever Thanksgiving dinner happens to occur, “All in a Word” by Aileen Fisher. I confess to being desperately attached to these aspects of mother’s life. If I keep and carry them she remains with me. When my husband and I were dating, I packed up her grade school classroom diorama of the first Thanksgiving feast and set it up on the mantle of his Philadelphia home. Fortunately, his family descends from Mayflower people so they thought it was pretty cool that I cared so much about Thanksgiving. I can’t say it was because I cared about Thanksgiving, I missed being with my mother that first holiday away from her. These special holiday gatherings come with an edge, someone is always missing. There is completeness when everyone is around our table. My father is too ill to travel this year, my mother is gone, and my grandparents who hosted countless Thanksgivings of my childhood are holy memories. I cherish trying to keep their memory alive which is why I finished my grandma’s painting (story on the blog). May your time with family around your table be richly blessed! Safe travels everyone.