It's Thanksgiving Day....a day we have set apart to remember all of our blessings and give thanks to our God for all He has provided. I feel that we ought to do that, daily, but still, this is a special day. It is one that promotes family and friends getting together around a heavy-laden table, and that, in itself, is a blessing.
This year there will be but four of us. My children and grandchildren will be in various places. The two Georgia families will be staying in their area, as their father, stepmother and half-brother will be visiting from Florida. My other two daughters in New York will be sharing the day with friends. My son's family will enjoy their day in their own special way, as will my stepsons. It's a day when we will miss the faces who aren't joining us at the table.
One of those faces is that of my father. He passed away twenty five years ago, on November 25, 1985. We will all remember him on this day, each one of us reliving our memories of him. Thinking about that, I have remembrances of times with him that are solely mine. There were few times when my Dad and I were alone together, and so that makes them special to me. Silly little things come to the surface...his waking me early to catch the bus when I was going to Cosmetology school. He once took a feather that had escaped from my down pillow, and tickled me under my nose with it until I woke up. There were rides home from school with him, after I would walk to his job site and sit in the car, waiting for his workday to end. There were longer drives to my orthodontist appointments. He encouraged me to write and asked to hear my scribblings. He praised my singing when he heard me in the shower or singing in my room. He tormented me about my rock and roll, but he thought that the Beatles weren't half-bad and liked their harmony. There were quiet conversations in the yard as he puttered with something, and early mornings in the kitchen while he had his coffee and I had my breakfast before school. There were the times of frustration for both of us as he taught me to drive a standard shift vehicle. "Don't ride the clutch" or "Take your foot off the brake". I'll bet he was extremely pleased when I finally got the hang of it!
Others who knew my father always tell me things that they remember about him, all of them telling me that he was a truly 'nice' man. Yes, he was. Everyone has memories of their father whether good or bad. I cannot say I have anything bad to report, honestly. I didn't know Daddy well enough, due to his working so hard to take care of his family, and none of us had enough time with him. He was taken from us when he was just sixty one years old, but the nearly 40 years I had with him was far too short.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I will give thanks for all my blessings, but mostly that I was given the man I knew as my father. I was given the most wonderful parents, and am truly grateful for them.